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Posts made in March, 2016

Medicare Coverage of Respite Care

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in Elder Care | 0 comments

Respite Care, also called Short-term Care, is a specialized program aimed at providing the sick and/or the disabled with temporary care; this may last for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks, or on a weekly or monthly basis. While respite care helps ensure that individuals, especially older adults, are provided with the care, medical attention and assistance to daily activities that they need, it is also designed for the benefit of family members who act as their sick loved one’s caregiver. This short-term care temporarily takes the responsibility of caring for the patient (from the caregiver), to give the caregiver his or her needed break from the strenuous demands of caregiving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, respite or a short break is beneficial for the patient and, especially, the caregiver, since studies show that many caregivers experience sudden health declines, experience emotional and physical stress, and experience much difficulty in balancing their career and their own family obligations. By availing of a respite care program, these concerns may be addressed effectively.

Respite Care may be provided in the patient’s own home or outside of it, in a facility, like a nursing home or an adult day care center. For In-home respite, patients are visited by medical staffers, who provide the services needed by patients, like administering medication, pain management monitoring, catheter care, wound care, and behavioral counseling. In-facility respite, on the other hand, requires the transfer of a patient to another facility where he or she is provided with full-time care by medical professionals.

Patients who avail of respite care may expect services which include medication management, meal planning and feeding, personal grooming, dressing assistance, laundry and housekeeping, companionship, and transportation to doctor’s clinics or social engagements.

Availing of respite care, according to SeniorAdvice.com, may just prove to be too expensive for some families, though. Now, while private savings and insurance may help a lot, the site goes on to say that patients may possibly qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.

While a patient can receive respite care (for up to five days at a time) in a Medicare-accredited nursing home facility or hospital (with Medicare shouldering up to 95% of the costs), this is only possible if the patient has a life-threatening illness and meets the requirements for the hospice benefit.

Medicaid, which is designed to complement Medicare and private insurance, provides seniors, children, and those with low incomes, superior health coverage by making families avail of the 1915(c) waiver. This waiver will offset costs of in-facility or in-house services.

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