Respite care is generally not covered by insurance or Medicare, as it is considered custodial care (vs. skilled care). Most respite care is privately paid (i.e. paid by the individual or family out of income and assets). The good news about respite care is that there are a range of options to put together an affordable plan. Additionally, it is important for families to consider the value of respite’s benefits. By providing a break for a primary caregiver, respite care helps to maintain the valuable support and care to the individual.
Here is a very general breakdown of possible respite care costs (statistics taken from MetLife’s Mature Market Institute Study of Long-Term Care Costs nationwide averages and additional information from our care management team’s expertise):
Home Care, provided by a home care agency:
$21/hour for home health aide
$19/hour for homemaker/companion (non-hands on care)
$18.73 in Tampa Bay, Florida for home health aide
$17.95 in Tampa Bay, Florida for homemaker/companion
Adult Day Services:
$67/day (8 hours/day, 5 days/week)
$66/day in Tampa, Florida and vicinity
*Adult Day Services can vary widely, as they can be provided by community groups as well as local Assisted Living Facilities and some offer half-day or hourly care as well. Some funding may be available for sliding-scale or free care in your community in adult day care provided by community organizations.
Assisted Living Facility:
$2650/month average in Tampa Bay area but $100 or more/day is typical for respite care, short-term rate
*For respite care, most Assisted Living Facilities charge a daily rate which may be slightly more than pro-rating the monthly rate.
$205/day for semi-private room ($212/day average in Tampa Bay, Florida)
$229/day for private room ($235/day average Tampa area)
* It is less common to use nursing home care for respite, but it may be necessary for an individual requiring skilled, medically-complex care. If an individual has had some major exacerbation or health issues, it may be possible that Medicare covers a short-term stay in a nursing facility if preceded by a 3 day hospital stay for the condition.
Some considerations and tips on respite care costs and options:
• Consider putting together a plan with a mix of options. For example, using a combination of family care or monitoring technology with home care or adult day care.
• Remember all the costs involved and what is being provided for each rate. For example, all meals will generally be included at an Assisted Living Facility. Adult Day Care usually provides a mid-day meal and some provide transportation to and from the program. Add up any additional costs to get a true budget.
• Research financial support through community programs. Some disease-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the M.S. Society, provide some funding to assist with respite care. Find out if this is available and what parameters/eligibility are involved. There are also caregiver support programs available through aging services. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging. Be aware that funding sources are often limited and may be wait-listed, so check in advance when you can.
• Talk to family members about respite care. Can another family member (or combination) provide respite? If not, can family members pitch in to help cover the cost of respite care?
• An additional cost that may be worthwhile is to involve a geriatric care manager. First, a geriatric care manager can help you identify options and find help with funding. Second, you might hire a professional care manager to oversee the respite care and handle medical appointments and emergencies.
CONTACT US for help with respite care options, eldercare advice and care management/local oversight for seniors in Clearwater/Tampa Bay, Florida.
Further reading: you may want to read our article on Respite Options for Family Caregivers and Tips for Preparing for a Good Respite Care Experience.