You may have heard that respite care is an option for you and your family, but what is it, and how do you access it? Respite care is a service that provides an opportunity for caregivers to relieve stress, restore their energy and promote balance in their lives, all while knowing that their loved one is being taken care of. Read on to learn more about respite care and if your family qualifies.

What is respite care?

Respite care is a service designed to give family caregivers a period of rest (or “respite”) from the daily responsibility of caring for their loved ones. It can apply to both adult and pediatric patients. The respite period can vary depending on a family’s needs and benefits but often range from a few hours to a few days or weeks. It is commonly provided by home care agencies, nursing and assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, individual care professionals and family and friends.

The specifics of a patient’s respite services are based on their individual needs and care plan. Here are some common respite care services you can expect:

  • Assistance with household tasks such as laundry and meal preparation
  • Assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing
  • Incontinence care
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Companionship and entertainment

Who needs respite care?

One of the primary reasons families choose respite care is to prevent caregiver burnout. According to AARP’s 2020 Caregiving in the U.S. report, there were 47.9 million family caregivers, and 12% of those were caring for a spouse or partner. Respite care is an excellent way for these caregivers to take a step back and relax while knowing their loved one is in good hands.

Family caregivers often suffer from poor health due to stress and lack of time to properly care for themselves. The good news is even short periods of respite can make a big difference in a caregiver’s physical and mental health.

Respite care can also be used when a caregiver works outside of the home, goes out of town or on vacation, runs errands, or undergoes surgery or a medical procedure.

Which insurances cover respite care?

Unfortunately, most insurance plans do not cover respite care, and many families pay out of pocket. However, if you are interested in the service, you should reach out to a provider to see if there are any programs or grants you may qualify for.

At Maxim, we provide respite care to the Military community through the ECHO Home Health Benefit and TRICARE’s Respite Benefit for Active Duty Service Members. Our local services also provide respite care- in California, we deliver care through our collaboration with regional centers, and in North Carolina, patients can receive care through our habilitation program. In addition, we commonly provide respite care to individuals with ALS and medically complex children. The best way to learn what services are available near you is to speak to your local office.

How to know if you qualify?

Home healthcare agencies are available as a resource to help you determine if you or a loved one qualifies for respite care. The ARCH National Respite Locator Service can help you find providers near you and learn more about respite care services.

If you are interested in Maxim’s services, contact your local office to learn more about the options available and see if you qualify.