When it comes to state designed respite programs in the United States, Oregon is at the forefront of having crafted a comprehensive, workable, and overall user friendly bit of legislation in the form of the Oregon Lifespan Respite Act. The goal of this legislation is the empowerment of group and organization based respite programs with the help of a fiscal infusion from the very onset.
As funding permits organizations to train volunteers and also hire professional respite care providers, the level of care that may be offered to families in need soon is paraprofessional.
At this time the organization is added to a database identifying those groups which have trained care providers that are available for a variety of in home respite services.
To ensure that the organization starting up the program can continue on with the services, the state of Oregon has decided to continue funding groups that are members of its database and thus the initial investment is not lost but instead supported many times over.
Open Referral Database
Families in need of help with respite care may dial up the database at any time via the Internet and find out what the costs for the care are, if there are referrals available for the care of high maintenance and high need patients, and also to allow families from adjacent communities to find care in perhaps the next county or city.
The creation of the database has proven a most valuable tool in Oregon in that it offers an immediate method of connecting willing respite workers, the organizations that represent them, and families in need of their services.
In addition, those interested in becoming respite care providers also find a unique way of networking and ascertaining how to train and specialize for work as a respite caregiver.
Another valuable function the database has shown to provide is a pinpointing service of areas either geographically or medically that are considered underserved. Such areas may be targeted with the help of outreach programs in order to establish organizations able to take on a respite care program and then work with them to recruit the workers.
There has been some confusion with respect to whether or not respite care services are provided free of charge to Oregonians. At his point in time this is handled on a case by case basis, depending on the familys ability to pay, but by and large these services are for pay. Some of the exceptions are the respite care appointments offered by charitable organizations and faith based communities.
While these groups will offer their services free of charge, finding one that does not currently have a long waiting list is a harder task by far.
Generally speaking, these coveted appointments are usually snapped up as quickly as they become available and families may need to either wait for a considerable length of time or opt for the for pay route.
On the flipside, since the Oregon database is extensive, finding a plethora of organizations that may work on a sliding fee scale is not that hard either, and usually families and respite care workers will come to an agreement about fees rather quickly.