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Respite Care

What exactly is respite care?

Respite care is a short-term residential care solution to help care for a loved one while the primary caregiver is unavailable or simply needs a period of rest. During this time, Heritage Hall provides the same services that are available to all of its residents, including tailored therapies, diet, and social activities. It's the optimal way to make sure that your loved one is taken care of with the same loving attention they normally receive from you. Respite care is just like extended care, but it’s temporary rather than long-term. It doesn’t involve intense therapy or rehabilitation like a short-term stay for skilled care, though strength-building therapy can be incorporated as part of the respite care stay.

Respite care can really make a difference for the caregiver.

Most people are reasonable and realize that their caregivers need care too. One wife needed back and knee surgery after years of caring for her husband. It was her husband who insisted she place him in respite care so she could have the surgeries and recovery period she needed. Other times, there simply isn’t a choice. An elderly man’s son was in a car accident. The son and his wife had been caring for the father, but with the son now injured, his wife couldn’t manage both her husband needing care in the hospital and his father needing care at home. Sometimes the person being cared for may become too difficult to manage on a 24-hour basis if you are not a trained caregiver. Many situations can occur where respite care is needed, and it’s OK to seek out this kind of extra help when you have too many things happening to provide adequate care. Everyone needs to take a breather once in a while. The psychological pressure of taking care of someone can be intense and increases the chances of them becoming sick, depressed or more prone to making mistakes when providing care. Respite care can be the relief you need to release the pressure.

How can you pay for respite care?

Medicare and most insurance companies do not pay for respite care, but Part B Medicare coverage may help pay for therapy during the respite care stay. If the patient requiring care is low-income as well as physically and functionally eligible for nursing home care through Medicaid, Medicaid will pay for the stay—either as a permanent placement or as a temporary stay. Otherwise, respite care is the personal responsibility of the individual needing care or the caregiver seeking respite.

Although Medicare does not pay for respite care, it does pay for a period of skilled nursing and rehabilitation that can provide a respite to at-home caregivers. Many families experience a period of skilled nursing care as their respite. Generally, Medicare patients are eligible for up to 100 days of nursing home care each year, as needed, for skilled nursing and rehab after a qualifying hospitalization of three days or more. Medicare Advantage plans vary on the rules for skilled nursing care. 

Contact the admissions department at the Heritage Hall in your area to discuss your options. Click here for contact information in your area.

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