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Beginner’s Guide to Elderly Respite Care

Sarah Benbow, Executive Director of Communications | Dec 21, 2022


Senior woman doing a puzzleRespite care means a lot of things to different people, but overall, it involves providing temporary care for seniors or older adults who need supportive services. As someone who cares for their parents or aging family members, it can be tough to make a decision regarding respite care for them. 

Perhaps you’ve been serving as a caregiver in addition to your everyday responsibilities. Or maybe your loved one’s primary caregiver could use a break to lighten their load. Whatever the case, respite care is a viable option, so let’s discuss what it is, some primary examples, the benefits, and the financial costs so you can make an informed decision. 

What is respite care?

As noted, respite care is a temporary care option for older adults looking for short-term hospitality or assisted living services. Respite care is often used when:

  • A family caregiver needs a break or is unavailable to help due to travel or their own illness or injury. 

  • An individual would like a “trial run” to experience life in a senior living community.

  • Individuals who are assessing options for transitioning from a caregiver or assisted living community to a new place. 

Respite care is a great option for a senior who needs day-to-day supportive services but still desires social stimulation, engagement, and activities.

Respite care examples

Respite care can come in many forms. Some of the services and amenities provided by Walker Methodist include:

  • Fully furnished suites
  • Daily chef-prepared meals and snacks
  • Housekeeping, laundry service, and linen changes
  • Social, spiritual, educational, and recreational activities
  • Physical and occupational therapy and fitness center options
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Hospice stays

Walker Methodist respite care includes trained healthcare professionals and staff to attend to every need. We offer nurse assessments and licensed nurses on duty 24 hours a day.

Benefits of respite care

Respite care is a great option for seniors who need a comfortable and caring temporary place to stay. One of the biggest impacts on a senior’s life is socialization. Seniors are prone to loneliness because their health conditions and physical limitations isolate them. Assisted living facilities create a sense of belonging. A respite care stay will highlight this. It will also give you a glimpse into life after your loved one transitions. 

For many individuals or families of seniors, respite care can provide an abundance of benefits that help alleviate the stress or burnout associated with caring for a loved one. It can also create time for caregivers to look for more permanent long-term care options.

Who pays for respite care?

When paying for respite care, costs are usually covered by the individual or their family. In some instances, long-term insurance care plans will cover this type of care, but it depends entirely on the type of coverage available. If you’re wondering whether your plan will cover respite care for elderly individuals, it’s best to consult with your health insurance provider.

Does Medicare pay for respite care?

In most cases, Medicare insurance programs do not pay for respite care alone. If respite care is used in conjunction with hospice care, Medicare may cover respite stays in a nursing home, assisted living community, or hospital for up to five days at a time. Make sure you check with your provider to learn your options.

Does Medicaid pay for respite care?

Medicaid does not pay for respite care under its general benefits coverage plans. That said, you may be eligible for coverage under your state’s Medicaid waiver program. If you’re wondering whether Medicaid covers respite care for elderly individuals, check your state’s Medicaid guidelines and waiver programs. 

Respite care at Walker Methodist

Group of seniors clinking cups together

At Walker Methodist, we carefully consider the needs of each of our residents, tailoring their care plans to match what they need, what they want, and what their loved ones are advocating for. 

With respite care, your role will shift from a caretaker and provider to a family member and loved one. Your responsibilities will be lifted, and hopefully, your peace of mind will also be fully restored. At Walker Methodist, we advocate for respite because we know how great the responsibility is to the people we love. Let us help you.

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