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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 at home or in a facility, such as a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or assisted living.
Respite care has become a more common need among patients who visit an emergency room or acute-care hospital. If the patient’s physician determines that they are unable to return home with the same level of care as before, The Valley Hospital’s Care Transitions team of case managers and social workers will assess the patient’s care needs and provide resources for a safe discharge plan, which may include respite care.
Respite care services may include:
- 24-hour care
- Medical services
- Medication administration
- Assistance with daily needs such as bathing, dressing and personal hygiene
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 Care Assistance Programs
Typically, respite care is paid for by the patient; however, there is a benefit for respite under hospice care, and New Jersey does offer financial assistance to eligible participants.
The NJ Statewide Respite Care Program 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.
The Bergen County Department of Human Services also offers a respite care program for Bergen County residents. Read the fact sheet for more information.
Rockland County, New York, 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 845-364-3444 or visit the Rockland County website for more information.