Good Practice

Respir Programme

Programme of temporary residential support for non-professional caregivers.

Barcelona Provincial Council
Local policy


The programme is for families caring for dependents over the age of 65 and families caring for people with intellectual disabilities. It aims to improve the quality of life of caregiving families, particularly women, by offering rest periods of 15 days to two months for those caring for elderly dependents, and rest periods of 3 days to two months for those caring for people with intellectual disabilities. Meanwhile, comprehensive care is provided to dependents and people with disabilities. It also serves as a resource in cases of unforeseen family situations.


Women are primarily responsible for care. Half of the beneficiaries of the dependency law in Barcelona province receive economic benefits for informal care. Family carers spend between 13 and 17 hours a day caring for dependent people; 42% of them for periods of more than 10 years. These long and intense periods spent providing care have effects on physical and emotional health, as well as on participation in the labour market and society. Rest time is one of the principal needs and demands of caregivers to be able to balance care with personal life.


Family caregivers can access this programme by referral to Barcelona Provincial Council service through the basic social services of city councils in Barcelona province. This service offers stays of between 15 and 60 days per year for the elderly, and of 3 to 60 days for people with intellectual disabilities. During the stay, social and health care is provided, as well as leisure and occupational activities. Families can also receive support and training.


  • Comprehensive care from specialised professionals
  • Interdisciplinary teams
  • Coordination between care and medical sectors
  • Person-centred care
  • Quality of care and continuous improvement
  • Outcome-oriented
  • Comprehensive information system
  • Space for ethical reflection
  • Corporate social responsibility


• 3,905 people from 128 municipalities attended in 2019

• The average age of caregivers in the Respite for the Elderly programme is 61 and 70% are daughters of the dependent elder

• The average age of caregivers in the Respite for the Disabled programme is 57 and most caregivers are mothers



Coordinator of the Equality and Social Sustainability Area

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