Taking care of a family member can be a rewarding experience. However, over time, caregiver duties, such as grooming, grocery shopping and mobility assistance can quickly become mentally and physically overwhelming — especially if you have to juggle multiple roles.
When fatigue begins to set in, don’t feel guilty about taking a much-needed break. Whether you need to go to work, take the kids to school or run personal errands, respite care can offer a great option for those who need to take a temporary break from the regular demands of caregiver duties. Our expert guide is here to help you understand respite care and answer key questions such as:
- Who pays for respite care?
- Does Medicaid pay for respite care?
- What is the cost of respite care per week?
- How much does respite care cost per day?
- Does insurance cover respite care?
Introduction To Respite Care
Respite care communities are designed to give your loved one the care and support they need while you take a break to recharge or attend to other obligations. Taking a break can help prevent fatigue, which can negatively impact your ability to provide the best possible care. An additional benefit of respite care is that it can allow your loved one to get a necessary change of routine and environment, and give them a chance to socialize with new caregivers and residents.
Who Pays For Respite Care?
The question of who pays for respite care depends on several key factors, like your loved one’s needs, length of stay, insurance policy and more. Typically, respite care costs are paid by the person receiving care or their family. Let’s look at some possible sources of funding that can help you pay for your family member’s respite care:
- Medicaid: Medicaid is a government-funded program that may provide financial assistance for respite care in some states. Does Medicaid pay for respite care? If your family member qualifies for Medicaid assistance under income guidelines, they might be eligible for coverage. The eligibility criteria and coverage options can vary from state to state, so it’s important to check with your state’s Medicaid office. You can use this resource to find your local Medicaid office.
- Medicare: Respite care isn’t covered by Medicare as a standard benefit. However, if your loved one is a Medicare Part A policy holder, they might be eligible for coverage, but only if they require hospice care.
- Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI): Does insurance cover respite care? Some long-term insurance policies can help pay for your family member’s respite care. Coverage may vary among insurance providers, so it’s important to check the policy details to see what is covered and the specific requirements.
- Veteran Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), through the Aid and Attendance program, can also help pay for respite care costs for eligible veterans. Typically, VA coverage allows for up to 30 days of stay in a respite care community.
- Private pay: If your loved one doesn’t have a long-term insurance policy and they don’t qualify for government services like Medicare or Medicaid, you may have to pay for respite care out of pocket.
- Community-based programs: If you need financial assistance to pay for your loved one’s respite care, you can check for community organizations that offer free or subsidized respite care for low-income seniors. ARCH National Respite Network has compiled contacts of such coalitions.
Factors That Can Influence Respite Care Cost
When choosing a community for a loved one, cost is often a major consideration. However, how much you pay for respite care may be affected by various key factors, such as:
- Personal care needs: Your loved one’s needs will impact the cost for their care. Generally, people who require more specialized care or round-the-clock assistance will have to pay more for respite care.
- Location: Respite care costs may also be influenced by location and cost of living. Generally, respite care communities in more desirable, urban locations will be more expensive compared to those in rural locations.
- Type of respite care: There are various types of respite care, including in-home care, adult day care centers and short-term stays at senior living communities. Respite care cost will vary depending on which type is chosen. For example, if you prefer in-home care, you might have to pay more for the one-on-one caregiver attention.
- Length of stay: The amount of time your loved one spends in respite care can greatly impact the overall cost. Typically, short, occasional stays are more affordable than regular, extended care.
- Amenities offered: The level of amenities offered can also affect the cost of respite care. A community that offers an extensive list of amenities, like a golf course and gourmet meals, will typically cost more than one that only provides basic amenities. Some communities may provide extra services, like transportation and recreational services, at an additional cost.
Average Cost Of Respite Care
How much does respite care cost per day? The cost of respite care can vary greatly depending on many factors, but here’s what you can expect to pay on average, according to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey:
- Adult day care communities: Community-based respite care, also known as adult day care communities, can offer short-term, on-demand respite care. This can provide a great option if you need additional help with your loved one’s care during the day. Daily costs can be between $50 and $150 per day, with the national average being around $80. If you’re considering an adult day care community for your family member, the cost of respite care per week should be approximately $560.
- Respite services in senior care communities: Some senior living communities, such as assisted living and nursing home communities, may offer respite care. These cost around $150 per day, which brings the cost of respite care per week to around $1,050.
- In-home respite care: Receiving care in the familiar setting of home can be comforting for both you and your family member. If your loved one feels safer at home or prefers having their needs met there, you may consider in-home respite care. How much you pay may be impacted by several key factors, such as the duration of care and their needs. Because this option offers one-on-one caregiver attention, it can be more costly compared to other options. You can expect to pay between $15 and $40 per hour for a home health aide.
Planning And Budgeting For Respite Care
Caring for your loved one requires time, patience and dedication. You’ll also want to take some time when planning and budgeting for their care. Here are some key tips to help you plan and budget for respite care:
- Compare care providers: Before choosing a community, it’s generally advisable to research and compare different providers to find one that aligns with your budget and your loved one’s care needs.
- Schedule in advance: Taking some time off can have a big impact on both your wellness and the quality of care you provide, so don’t wait until you’re exhausted. Even short, regular breaks can make a difference.
- Maintain open communication: Open communication can be vital to ensuring your loved one gets the care they deserve. Communicating your family member’s needs and preferences to respite caregivers helps them better understand their needs and provide the best possible care.
- Set a realistic budget: When considering respite care for a family member, it’s important to determine how much money you can comfortably set aside for costs. If you need financial assistance, check with your local community center. They may know charity organizations or other resources that can help.
- Seek professional guidance: If you have any questions about respite care, don’t hesitate to consult with a financial advisor or social worker. They can help you navigate the financial aspects of respite care, identify eligible benefits and create a sustainable financial plan.
Let StoryPoint Group Be Your Guide
At StoryPoint Group communities, we understand the unique challenges that you go through to show love and support to your loved one — which is why we offer as much support as possible. If you or a loved one need additional guidance on respite care or senior living communities, we’re here to help. Give us a call today at 1-844-275-9990 to get answers to your questions or just to say hello. We can’t wait to get to know you!