Olympia LEOFF Disability Board explores respite care options for members 


Olympia's Law Enforcement Officer and Firefighter (LEOFF) Disability Board is exploring potential policy changes to include respite care for caregivers of disabled members.  

Following insights gained at a recent Washington State LEOFF Education Association Conference, the board plans to gather more information before drafting policy updates. 

At the LEOFF meeting on Monday, July 8, Board members Steve Cooper and Mark Hansen who attended the conferenceshared feedback about respite care services.  

According to Hansen, respite care is a temporary relief for primary caregivers, allowing them time to focus on their needs while ensuring their loved ones receive proper care.  

"I think this is something to consider as an opportunity for someone to remain in their home, and yet give their caregiver a break," Hansen told the board.  

Cooper explained that part of respite care involves taking the member to a place like a senior center or similar facility that provides activities, physical exercises, and social interaction with other people. This option gives the member positive reinforcement and engaging things to do. At the same time, it allows the spouse or partner some time to attend to their own needs, such as shopping or other personal tasks. This arrangement benefits both the member and the caregiver. 

The board plans to invite Concierge Care Advisors, a free service that helps families navigate care options, to present at the August meeting, and will also research policies from other cities, such as Bellevue and Auburn, which reportedly offer subsidies for memory care. 

Hansen shared that the cost of respite care in the area can range from $20 to $50 per hour. The specific cost depends on factors like zip code, cost of living, and the type of care provided during the respite time.  

Board member Lisa Parshley discussed a Senate bill from the previous year that had not been passed. The bill tried to address the shortage of respite care and in-home nursing staff. It proposed allowing family members to receive state funds typically allocated for professional caregivers when such services were unavailable. She said this plan would have utilized existing but unspent budget funds.  

The council member suggested monitoring similar legislation in the coming year, as the board might want to write a letter of support for such an initiative. 

While no specific timeline for policy changes has been set, the board aims to draft updates after gathering more information.  



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