Respite care option #6: Caregiver co-op
How it helps: Organized co-ops give members an affordable way to pitch in and take turns caring for one another's charges in exchange for some time off. The arrangement not only gives caregivers more time for themselves; it also fosters a sense of community among both those who give and receive the care.
What it costs: There's usually no charge; members qualify for respite services by volunteering time caring for other co-op members' loved ones.
How to get started: Talk with neighbors or friends who have similar needs; in such cases, it is usually a good idea to have a central person charged with keeping track of the availability and scheduling of the volunteers caregivers. Or check with local community centers or adult day services providers to see if one has already started a co-op.