Respite Care

DEFINITION of 'Respite Care'

Respite care involves short term or temporary care of a few hours or weeks. Respite care is designed for the sick or disabled to provide relief, or respite, to the regular caregiver. The regular caregiver is usually a family member. A family member may be hesitant to seek or use respite care to leave a loved one in the care of another; however, there is evidence that caregivers who take a break from the associated stresses can help prevent incidents of neglect or abuse.

BREAKING DOWN 'Respite Care'

Respite care typically comes into play with patients who are disabled, developmentally disabled, terminally ill or elderly. People who need round-the-clock care and supervision often need long-term, constant care. Respite care gives family members a break from the stressful task of nearly constant care of a loved one. Caregivers provide temporary relief when a full-time caregiver travels, tries to ease an elderly family member into an assisted living situation or simply needs a break. Respite caregivers provide meals, medication management, housekeeping, personal hygiene care and laundry service, among other services, for those who need regular care. Some respite care providers might take patients for outings and to activities away from the residence.

Costs

Families can incur extra expenses related to respite care. The caregiver normally goes into a person's private residence to care for the patient. A home care aide averages $21 per hour, while a person who just performs housekeeping charges an average $19 an hour. Short-term respite care normally means two to four hours. Many caregivers charge a minimum number of hours to make it worth their time. Longer-term care, for eight hours a day and five days a week, averages $67 a day. Health insurance can cover respite care costs in some cases. Organizations and special interest groups may provide grants for people with specific diseases. The Alzheimer's Association and the M.S. Society have grant opportunities for people who care for patients with those medical conditions.

Tips

As many as 65 million Americans care for an aging or disabled loved one, partially due to an aging population from the baby boomer generation. Before signing up for respite care, a family should check into the credentials of the temporary caregiver. Full-time caregivers should ask for references and set up an appointment to meet the caregiver before agreeing to a contract. Families should know precisely how respite care services are billed, and both parties should have a signed copy of the contract. Respite care agencies may fill out insurance forms, offer several payment methods and set up billing schedules so the family knows exactly how much money to budget.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Accountable Care Organizations

    Healthcare providers that take a group approach to coordinating ...
  2. Elder Care

    Elder care, sometimes called elderly care, refers to services ...
  3. Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

    Coverage that provides nursing-home care, home-health care, personal ...
  4. Dependent Care Benefits

    Benefits provided by an employer to an employee for use in caring ...
  5. Capitated Contract

    A healthcare plan that allows payment of a flat fee for each ...
  6. Essential Health Benefits

    A set of benefit requirements that must be included in certain ...
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    The True Cost of Home Caregiving

    Caring for eldery family in-home might be unavoidable, but most caregivers don't realize the true cost of doing so.
  2. Retirement

    AARP Expects Massive Caregiver Shortage by 2020

    The AARP predicts that by the year 2020 there will be a big shortage in the number of caregivers available to help the elderly. This presents opportunities for many young people in the workforce.
  3. Retirement

    Why Caregiving Costs Women

    Fueled by extended life expectancies, lost wages from reduced work and rising healthcare costs, women are now the hardest hit when it comes to caregiving for an elderly parent.
  4. What Long-Term Care Insurance Protects Against

    Because long-term care can be so expensive, not to mention labor-intensive, long-term care insurance exists to protect against exhausting your personal assets or burdening your loved ones. In ...
  5. Investing

    Advising FAs: Explaining Long-term Care Insurance to Clients

    As our life spans are extended, our family structures change and medical care improves, the need for long-term care (LTC) will continue to increase.
  6. Insurance

    Your Complete Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance

    Learn everything you need to know about this critical insurance: what it is, what it covers, when to buy it, the cost, which companies offer it and more.
  7. Financial Advisors

    Does the Middle-Class Need LTC Insurance?

    Long-term care insurance is as expensive as it is necessary for many people, but is it right for all financial advisor clients?
  8. Insurance

    Why You Need A Plan For Long-Term Care

    Long-term health costs can wipe out entire retirement savings. Be sure to plan ahead with long-term care insurance.
  9. Insurance

    The 4 Best Alternatives to Long-Term Care Insurance

    Understand what long-term care insurance is and the types of people who need this coverage. Learn about four alternatives to long-term care insurance.
  10. Home & Auto

    Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Needs It?

    No one is immune to the possibility of one day needing long-term care - and the costs can deplete a life savings.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is long-term care insurance?

    Long-term care insurance is an insurance policy that that helps a patient pay for long-term care. The policy usually covers ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is short term care insurance a good idea?

    I have talked with an insurance agent and been approved for short term care insurance. I am 65 and in good health. I just ... Read Answer >>
  3. Does Medicare provide assistance for patients unable to perform Activities of Daily ...

    Find out how Medicare provides some benefits, both direct and indirect, for those who are unable to perform some of the activities ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is a common strategy traders implement when using the Stochastic Oscillator?

    Understand the reasons why most long-term care insurers require the loss of two or more activities of daily living before ... Read Answer >>
  5. Who are Procter & Gamble's (PG) main competitors? (PG, REV)

    Learn about Procter & Gamble's major competitors in each of its revenue segments, including fabric care and home care, and ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the most common leveraged ETFs that track the drugs sector?

    Discover the most common leveraged exchange-traded funds that investors can use for magnified results in the pharmaceutical ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  2. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  4. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  5. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  6. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
Trading Center