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Respite care provides the primary caregiver/family a short-term break from caring for their senior loved ones, so they are able to rest and catch up on other areas of life. Taking breaks are vital to not only rest and spend time with family or friends but also so caregivers do not experience caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout should not taken lightly as psychologists define it as “a debilitating psychological condition brought about by unrelieved stress.” By the time most caregivers suspect burnout, they’re already suffering myriad of symptoms.
A senior loved one may receive respite care at home by another caregiver (can be friend or family), private duty home caregiver, adult day care or an assisted living community. While all of these provide a short-term break for the caregiver, respite care in an assisted living community provides a more holistic approach as they take care of all of the seniors needs in terms of housing and care.
Are there criteria to move to assisted living under respite care?
The good thing is that criteria to move into an assisted living short term is no different than if the resident were move in long term. The only difference is the costs (mentioned next).
Legally, the criteria below must be met in order to reside in an assisted living short term under respite or long term:
- Must be 18 years of age or older (Typically they will only care for those that are 55 and older but some will accept on a case-by-case basis if they are under 55)
- Be free of communicable diseases,
- Can perform certain things for themselves: must not be bed bound and must be able to bear weight even with assistance and not be required to use a Hoyer lift or be picked up by the care team
- Must not have extensive medical or care needs that require daily nursing services such as IV fluids, feeding tube, or have a pressure wound staged 2 and above
What is the average cost of respite care?
The average cost of respite care falls between $175-$250 per day. This daily rate includes everything a senior will need such as assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s- bathing, dressing, toileting) provided by a Certified Nursing Assistance (CNA’s) and nurses, provides three home cooked meals every day, daily housekeeping, laundry services and lively activities where the senior resident can participate in as little or as much as the individual wants.
The biggest difference between a short term stay and a long-term stay is the rates. The average cost assisted living monthly is about $3500 in the state of FL which includes everything besides the care. Care costs is typically not included in the $3500 which usually falls into levels of care ranging from an additional $400-$2000 depending on how the amount of care or ADL’s the resident needs. It’s important to note that Respite care includes the care rate in their daily rate
Does Medicare or Insurance cover the cost of respite care?
No, Medicare does not cover the cost. Assisted Living is privately paid out of pocket and insurance does not cover the cost whether it is respite care or long term. However, if you are living at an assisted living, there are a couple of programs that can help cover the cost if you qualify:
- Veteran Aid & Attendance (Must have served during wartime or be a widow of an individual who has served. The Reserves does not qualify.)
- LTC (Long-term Insurance
- Long Term Care Diversion Program through Medicaid (Must not make over a certain amount to qualify)
How long can your loved one remain under respite care?
In assisted living, the typical timeframe is up to 30 days. Most assisted living communities have a minimum stay of about one week and the maximum stay is about 30 days. Once a resident stays beyond 30 days, they will start charging the monthly rate versus the respite rate.
Final words about ‘what is a respite care’
If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about respite care or assisted living, call a North Star Senior Advisors today at 407-796-1582. Our complimentary service will walk you through each step of the senior living process as well as guide you to resources you may be eligible for.