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Respite Care

Respite care is temporary relief for caregivers and families.

It is a service in which care is provided to:

  • Persons with disabilities and other special needs
  • Persons suffering from a long-term illness or an illness that will lead to their death
  • Persons at risk of abuse or neglect

Respite care can occur in out-of-home and in-home settings for any length of time depending on the needs of the family and available resources. Your care manager can assist you in investigating these resources.

Qualifying for respite care

If you have Medicare and are receiving hospice care, you are eligible for respite care.

For other types of respite care, it will depend on your level of need and the resources in your area.

Paying for respite care

  • Medicare: If you have Medicare and you are a hospice patient, during a period of respite care, you will be cared for in a Medicare approved facility, hospital, or nursing home. You will have to pay 5% of the Medicare payment amount for inpatient respite care. The amount you pay for respite care can change each year.
  • Medicaid: There are limits as to the hours of respite care that can be received. These limits will vary by state.
  • Commercial insurance: Coverage varies by policy. Your care manager (clinical resource coordinator or social worker) can help you find out what coverage you might have. You may be responsible for a co-payment.
  • No insurance: You pay or you may be able to get assistance (such as Medicaid). A social worker can help you apply for assistance.

Arranging for respite care

If you are in the hospital, your care manager can assist you. If you are receiving hospice care, the hospice staff can help with setting up respite care. You can also contact your local social service agencies for help.

Length of respite care

If you are a Medicare patient, you can stay in a Medicare-approved hospital or nursing home up to five days each time you get respite care. There is no limit to the number of times you can get respite care. All other insurance coverage will vary by policy.

Other information

There are three accredited acute rehabilitation programs in Vermont and four in New Hampshire. We encourage family members/significant others to tour the facilities. Every effort will be made to get you into the facility of your choice; however, options and available beds may be limited.

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