Being a caregiver for a dying loved one can be a fulltime job. With all the responsibilities and emotions involved in caring for a loved one, sometimes caregivers just need a break. This is a common problem and Medicare created a level of care called respite care to meet this need. With respite care, family caregivers get a break from their caregiving duties while the patient is cared for in a Medicare-certified inpatient facility.

When is Respite Care Allowed?

The official Medicare definition of respite care is, “short-term inpatient care provided to the individual only when necessary to relieve the family members or the person caring for the individual at home.” Qualifying events include:

  • Caregivers becoming sick
  • Emotional or physical fatigue from continually caring for the loved one
  • Needing to attend an important event such as a wedding, jury duty, graduation, or funeral

How Does Respite Care Avoid Burnout?

When a patient is accepted for respite care, Medicare will pay for them to stay in a Medicare-certified facility for up to five days. This provides family caregivers with some free time to rest and get recharged. Knowing the patient is receiving around the clock care from trained professionals can come as a great relief to caregivers who have spent months as the primary caregiver for the patient.

Who Cares for the Patient?

While in the care of the Medicare-certified facility, the regular hospice team will continue to administer the care plan they created, while the facility staff members will fill the role normally played by the family caregiver.  

We understand that caregiver burnout is a real thing, which is why we encourage family members to take advantage of respite care when qualifying situations allow. At Cura-HPC, we want to help families through this difficult time by limiting the emotional stress and physical demands of having a loved one in hospice care. If you need hospice care for your loved one, please call Cura-HPC.