Respite care is temporary planned or emergency care provided to individuals who are unable to provide the necessary care for themselves due to an illness or injury, or for individuals whose usual caregiver is currently unavailable. Respite may be provided in the home or in a facility. This has become a more common need among persons who visit an emergency room or acute care hospital. There are times when a patient is brought to the hospital during an illness or after an injury, but do not require an “inpatient” admission to the hospital. However, due to the precipitating event, the patient may be unable to return home with the same level of care as before. The Valley Hospital Discharge Team of case managers and social workers work to assist the individual and their families to assess their care needs and provide resources for a safe discharge plan.
Options For Care After Discharge/Insurance Admission Criteria
Once the physician has made a decision on the medical needs of the patient, the discharge planner will discuss options for care with the doctor, the patient and their family. Depending on the medical need and insurance coverage, a patient may be able to go to a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or to a Rehabilitation Hospital. There are specific admission criteria that need to be met in order for this to be covered by insurance. The case manager or social worker will determine if the patient meets the criteria for either level of care. Other patients may prefer to return home with support services. These services may include visiting nurse services or private home health care. For information regarding Home Health Care services, please click here.
For others, insurance coverage may not be available for patients or returning home may not be an option at that time. In this situation, the case manager or social worker may provide the patient and family with information regarding respite care. This is care that can be provided in a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living, but the care is paid for by the patient’s private funds. The patient will receive 24 hour care; medical services; medication administration; assistance with daily needs such as bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene; and meals. If services such as physical, occupation and speech therapy are needed, these services may be billed to the patient’s insurance as outpatient services. Respite is usually covered by private funds paid for by the patient.**
Additional Community Services
The team of case managers and social workers at The Valley Hospital understand that any visit to an emergency room or acute care hospital can be frightening and planning care for loved ones can be daunting in the best of circumstances. Adding the confusion of coverage and cost to your decision making while coping with a hospital stay can be overwhelming. Our goal is to assist patients and families by offering choices and options for care. Many times these admissions lead to discussions around Long Term Care planning or eligibility for additional community services. For more information on Additional Community services, visit:
**New Jersey and New York do offer some respite services to eligible adults. However, these are programs that one must apply for and be enrolled in in order to use these services for discharge from the hospital. If eligible, however, home health aide hours may be provided on an ongoing basis to provide care and help maintain a person in their home. For more information on Respite and resources for Caregivers, click here.
The NJ Statewide Respite Care provides respite care services for elderly and functionally impaired persons age 18 and older to relieve their unpaid caregivers of stress arising from the responsibility of providing daily care. A secondary goal of the program is to provide the support necessary to help families avoid making nursing home placement of their relatives. The Statewide Respite Care Program will coordinate and finance respite care for eligible caregivers. Once a person is enrolled, there is a benefit for emergency or planned respite one time a year. Bergen County residents may click here.
Rockland County, New York, also offers a free caregiver respite program for their residents. The program pays for a weeklong stay in a licensed adult home for Rockland residents 60 years and older. Private rooms, meals and personal assistance are provided. Programs are available for early to moderate levels of dementia and non-Alzheimer's seniors. There is no income criterion, but an in-home assessment is needed to determine functional eligibility. Call the Office for the Aging Senior Care Helpline at 1-845-364-3444 for additional information or click here.
Alzheimer's Association offers a caregiver's respite care assistance program.
They will reimburse for up to $1,000 for approved respite services. No
financial qualifications. Application needed with physician's certification of
a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease/dementia. Call 1-800-883-1180.
For additional information
and resources on respite care you can link to The