When you’re a dedicated family caregiver to a loved one, you give all of yourself to care for them. Your selfless love and support makes a difference to your family member’s life, but it can be hard to maintain this pace without breaks. You may be wondering how you can afford respite care for your loved one and stay on budget. Fortunately, Medicare pays for respite care in certain situations. Alternative payment options include Medicaid, veterans benefits, and long-term care insurance.
Respite care provides temporary relief to a primary caregiver. It gives a caregiver a much-deserved break from providing care for their loved one. Respite care can be offered in hourly increments or for days at a time, and it can occur at home or at a care facility.
Caregivers can use respite care to:
Our free tool provides options, advice, and next steps based on your unique situation.
Yes, respite care is covered by Medicare if all of the following circumstances apply:
Generally, Medicare covers up to five days of respite care in a row. However, respite may be used more than once depending on your loved one’s unique circumstances. Keep in mind that there may be out-of-pocket costs associated with respite care for Medicare beneficiaries.
Medicare doesn’t cover respite care services received at home — care must occur in a Medicare-approved facility. For instance, Medicare pays for respite care in a nursing home, otherwise known as a skilled nursing facility.
To avoid the inconvenience of transferring a loved one from their home into a facility while they’re on hospice care, consider arranging for help from family members or paying out of pocket for an in-home respite caregiver.
The cost of senior care greatly varies depending on an individual’s care needs, place of care, and length of care. To provide you with a better idea of costs, here’s a breakdown of median respite care costs based on location:
If your loved one doesn’t qualify for respite care through Medicare, there may still be other options available to them:
As a family caregiver, you want to give your loved one the life they deserve. However, as your loved one’s care needs increase, it may not always be feasible to maintain quality of life at home anymore. If you’re feeling constantly worn down as a primary caregiver, or if you can no longer provide appropriate care for your parent, it may be time to consider residential senior living options, such as assisted living or memory care.
You don’t have to walk this journey alone. A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors are here to help you. They can offer senior care advice, find senior living communities that meet your loved one’s unique needs, and even set up tours of communities — all at no cost to your family.
National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging. What is respite care?
A Place for Mom. (2023). A Place for Mom proprietary data.
Genworth. (2023, November 21). Cost of care survey.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Home & Community-Based Services 1915(c).
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, February 15). Respite care.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter, and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not endorse the contents of the third-party sites.
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