Beyond Respite Care

respite care man with a headache

Going beyond Respite care. 

Respite care is care that another person provides to relieve a family care giver.   It is intended to allow that family caregiver to rest, go out and shop.  It also allows them to recharge their batteries. 

Care giving is a full-time job.  It requires the caregiver facilitates physical, emotional and social support for all of  the seniors needs.  Respite care or respite services are also family support service because they impact the border multi-generational families much like child care does at the other age extreme.

Social & emotional stress leads to caregiver burnout.

People forget that seniors often lack insight and judgement and are less likely to thank the caregiver. Many are even rude.  Even if that behavior is unintended it still has a social and emotional toll on the caregiver. Getting a “respite” from that role is lifesaving for the family caregiver.

Respite care provides temporary relief for a primary caregiver.  It  enables them to take a much-needed break from the often, full time physical and emotional demands of caring for a sick, aging, or disabled family member.  It  takes place in your own home, at day-care centers, or at residential care home that offer overnight stays. 

Respite care is planned or emergent.

To find a respite care giver / person you typically need some planning.  Emergency respite may result  in an emergency room visit, or  hospital visit or nursing home stay.

Medicare does not pay for respite treatment.

Medicare does not cover room and board or spend for custodial care solutions including respite care. One exception is if you have chosen the hospice Medicare benefit.  Hospice does provide a few hrs a week of custodial assistance.  That functions as a respite for the household caregiver who is working constantly.  At important junctures as well as when burnout is peaking hospice can bring an individual into an inpatient facility for up to a 5-7-day break. Nevertheless, if the client does not pass, they will certainly need to go back home as hospices inpatient benefit is short lived.  

Re-engaging after an inpatient Hospice stay.

The family caregiver has to re-engage which can be difficult. Burnout hardly ever subsides that swiftly.  Hospice is a good first tension breaker.  These are complicated and costly decisions and are made as part of a senior citizen case management strategy.  The best plans include a physician acquainted with the wide variety of concerns that included social, psychological, economically, legal, medical and custodial care assisting in the plan.  That also is called Geriatric Case Management.

Respite care cost. 

Cost varies based on the number of hours or days of service you need as well as the extent of treatment required. Generally, you may pay anywhere from $12 to $40 per hr for periodic help (custodial care, companionship, or assistance). While "live in care" use to be available the new home care worker tax and payroll laws raise a question of  its legality for the employer or family payer.  Of course, many hire random individuals and do so at their own risk.  Those rates can be $120 to $200 daily or even more for a live-in caregiver or companion.  Be aware that that worker is entitled to come back later and ask for over time for the 16 hrs of the 24 hr day and minimum wage for the 8 hrs 5 days.  Increasingly, caregivers  are finding out about these recent changes  and applying for that back pay.

Residential Care Homes are a permanent “respite” choice. 

Fortunately, a Residential care home can provide a Permanente, cost effective,  high quality, adaptable, care choice for the resident.  It also offers a permanent respite for the family.  This often improves social contacts between the patient and family because the family can visit, go on outings, and then return to the care home all without the stress of also being the custodial caregiver, doctor, transportation, medication facilitator or full-time caregiver.

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