Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) Respite Services

 Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) provides respite services to eligible consumers and family members or primary caregivers. Respite services can provide SHIP consumers or their caregivers with an opportunity for rest and relaxation or the opportunity to attend to their own personal needs. Respite services can be provided in or out of the home for limited periods of time, ranging from a few hours to one or two weeks. This service can be requested by the SHIP consumer, family members or other primary caregivers. To qualify for respite services, SHIP consumers must be living with a primary caregiver(s) at home. The SHIP consumer must be medically stable and pose no risk to self or others in community settings. Respite services are not available to SHIP consumers who live in residential programs, hospitals and/or long-term treatment programs. The consumer and/or the family are responsible for the consumer's personal funds and personal needs during respite activities.

In-Home Respite

In-home respite provides the primary caretaker with an opportunity to attend to his or her own personal needs, or take a break from the routine care and supervision of his or her family member. A respite worker will come into the consumer's home for a specified time, which is negotiated with SHIP. The respite worker can engage the SHIP consumer in activities within the home, take them on a social or recreational outing, accompany them to a meeting or appointment, or simply stay with the consumer while the primary caretaker leaves the home.

Out-of-Home Respite

SHIP can pay for up to two weeks per year in a 24-hour respite facility. The respite facility may provide social and recreational activities but it does not offer therapeutic services to its guests.

If you are interested in respite services, please call the Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services (SHIP) and ask to speak to the Service Coordinator for your region of the state.

Obtain information by calling (617) 204-3852 or toll-free (in Massachusetts only) 1-800-223-2559. TTY: (617) 204-3817. Or send an e-mail to

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.