Respite + Hospitality = Respitality

Empower Simcoe recognizes the need for Caregivers to receive true respite, and the importance that rest and rejuvenation plays in their mental and physical wellbeing. We believe investing in the Caregiver bolsters resilience and allows the entire family the opportunity to thrive.

Respitality provides relief from the often-silent challenges that Caregivers face, in addition to their parenting role.  The goal is for Caregivers to experience a well-deserved break in a welcoming and comfortable environment through overnight stays at Hotels and Resorts, dinners out, memberships, and attractions in their community; experiences that allow for added quality of life. This service is provided, free of charge, through the generous donations of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry as well as businesses throughout the community.

Benefits to Caregivers

  • Focuses on the benefits of self-care
  • Addresses barriers to receiving a full respite experience
  • Encourages respite planning as part of a healthy regimen
  • Arrangements are made, free of cost, by the Family Relief Program with Empower Simcoe
  • Able to share the experience with a guest of your choice.
  • Increased fortitude with taking on caregiving roles
  • Connects you to your community

Criteria for eligibility

Unpaid caregivers will be considered for the program based on the following eligibility requirements:

  • Caregiver is a parent or legal guardian providing full-time live-in care; and
  • Person(s) receiving care have a formal diagnosis of Intellectual Disability or if under age 5 a Global Developmental Delay; and
  • Caregiver lives within the Empower Simcoe catchment area of Simcoe County.
jump in the air

How to access service

The Empower Simcoe Family Relief Program accepts Requests for Service for Respitality directly from Caregivers. We would like to be able to meet the needs of all who apply however due to the number of resources available Caregivers who meet eligibility will be placed into a lottery system to allocate Respitality.

Announcements for when Respitality Services are available can be found on Social Media – follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to date information.

Thank you for your interest in Respitality. The window to apply is not currently open at this time. Please check back soon, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for updates.

Business Information

Why donate?
  • You have the ability to effect change in someone’s life. Improving their quality of life and showing them businesses in their community, like you, support them in their journey.
  • Donations can be provided at a time of year that suits your business’s needs.
  • Fulfills your Corporate Responsibility in a way that allows for staff to see the impact of their efforts. Fostering job satisfaction and a customer service mindset.
  • Feedback from businesses who participate in Respitality Programs globally is that it boosts morale, creates a sense of pride among staff, shows investment in the community and generates positive feedback from caregivers who received the service.
  • Participating businesses will be listed and marketed as donor partners throughout Empower Simcoe’s Social Media.
  • Caregivers receive information about the businesses who contributed to their Respitality experience, promoting great word-of-mouth marketing.
How Can I Help?

The Family Relief Respitality Program would not be possible without your contributions and we appreciate all of your support.

If you would like to get involved please consider…

  • Donating rooms at your Hotel or Resort
  • Donate a gift card or voucher to your business
  • Make a financial contribution
  • Sponsor a Respitality Service with your team, friends or family

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I access a Respitality break?

Caregivers are able to make a Request for Service online during designated times. Those who meet eligibility will then be placed into a lottery system. Announcements on when you can apply will be shared on Social Media – follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to date information.

How often can I access Respitality?

The availability of Respitality services are dependent on the generosity of businesses in our community. The Family Relief Program strives to offer up to one service per calendar year.

Is there a cost?

Respitality Services are donated and free of cost. Each experience is different and you may need to cover expenses such as transportation or food. Any potential expenses will be discussed in advance.

Is there a minimum donation amount?

No, all donations are appreciated and will benefit families. If you’re wanting to purchase a basket we suggest a donation of $75 and $300 for an overnight stay.

What if I can’t do an overnight stay?

The Respitality Program is person centered, we want your break to reflect your needs. Respitality can take various forms; spa services, meals out, recreational experiences, local attractions or leisure activities.

Who delivers Respitality?

Empower Simcoe serves as the representative for delivering all Respitality Services. We work with partnering businesses in order to bring the experience to you. We would love to hear your story of how a Respitality experience impacted your life, as it helps us to create these meaningful experiences and grow the program.

As a leader in the hospitality industry, Fern Resort recognizes the value of rest and rejuvenation for one’s physical health, mental health and overall well-being. Empower Simcoe’s Respitality program will provide a much-needed break for parents and caregivers who are raising their loved ones with intellectual disabilities. We encourage any groups that would like to join in this effort to contact Empower Simcoe to inquire about how you can assist”.

– Mark Downing, Owner/President of Fern Resort.

This was truly amazing! A nice balance of getting away, being pampered, and outdoor fun. Everything was very cozy and comfortable. We are so impressed with the resort and the hospitality that we feel like royalty here. The service is outstanding. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift which coincided with our Orthodox Christmas!”

-Yana (Caregiver)

Thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity my husband and I had a fantastic time it was so nice to just go away the two of us and have such a relaxing fun time. The staff are so friendly it is truly a beautiful resort that we would have never been able to experience without your program. Thank you so much to Fern Resort and Jays Sticky Buns we can’t express how much we appreciate this!”

-T.A. (Caregiver)

We had a Blast! Funny how 1 night away can feel like a long time when you just never do it! This was our first time away since 3 years ago. The staff at Fern Resort were Amazing! We were greeted to a Gorgeous Gift Basket full of goodies in the room which was a total shock and surprise to us! You thought of EVERYTHING! We were able to use the gym, together, what? LOL and go for a swim with No Kids…what? The food was Wonderful and the staff was there to please with whatever you needed. What a great way to start out 2022. Thank you so much to Empower Simcoe and Fern Resort for giving us this opportunity to recharge and relax together. It was Wonderful!

-Christina (Caregiver)

I just wanted to comment on the new program called Respitality. What an awesome idea. I truly believe helping the caregiver helps the individual. It was so encouraging to read that is happening.”

-R.B. (Caregiver)

What an amazing offering and so happy to see support and acknowledgment from the community.”

-A.I. (Caregiver)

I could not agree more that caregivers require true respite to rest and rejuvenate. A couple hours a week when I, like many others, spend time grocery shopping or catching up on chores does very little for our mental and physical wellbeing.”

-S.H. (Caregiver)

For questions about Respitality, please reach out to our Family Relief program at 705-726-9082 ext.2261 or using the email link below.