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Respite for Caregivers

"State legislators have a particular interest in supporting family caregivers, the backbone of their long-term care systems. The annual value of their work ($196 billion nationwide in 1997) far outweighs the amount of money being spent on nursing homes ($83 billion) and home health care ($32 billion.) But this "invisible care system" is at enormous risk. More than one in ten caregivers become physically ill or injured as a direct result of caregiving, and anywhere from 43 percent to 46 percent suffer from depression." Source - National Conference of State Legislatures.


*Please note: the above quote can no longer be verifiably attributed to the cited and linked source, most likely due to a modification to the site on which the information was originally posted, not an error of attribution. As a result, the link has been modified to now point to the home page of the National Conference of State Legislatures rather than to the specific source of the quoted material.


Respite defined: respite is a period of rest or relief. Respite care provides the caregiver with time away from the routine and stress of caring for the physical, emotional, or social needs of the person with Alzheimer's disease. Of great concern is that the caregiver remains healthy and able to continue with the caregiving role. You will have to ask for relief, though, as no one will know that you need help if you do not make your needs known.


What types of respite services are available to a person with Alzheimer's disease?

      • Help with personal care and grooming
      • Activities or recreation
      • Physical exercise
      • Meals and snacks
      • Daycare
      • Long-term care
      • Home healthcare


How much does it cost?


Respite care varies in price. Some adult daycare agencies have very affordable rates, whereas long term facilities could run over $3000 per month. At the present time, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover respite services. Some private insurances may; however, it's advised that you check with your admnistrator.


How do I know which service to pick?


There are various types of respite care. Choices include: daycare; round-the-clock care; in-home care provided by family, friends, or hired health aides; adult day-care facilities; 24hr nursing homes; or combinations of two or more of these options. Each person's care needs are unique, and they will change as the disease progresses through its various stages. Some care options are lower cost than others, and some are clearly expensive; few are free. You will need to determine which form of respite care provides the service you require. Your local Area Agency on Aging, or a geriatric manager, can assist you in evaluating your needs and ascertaining which resources are available.


What questions do I ask when I call the respite service providers?
      • Do you provide respite care for people suffering with Alzheimer's Disease?
      • (If yes) Tell me about your program.


Additional questions will tell you more about what you can expect from a specific provider:

      • To what stage will you care for them?
      • How many days a week are your services available?
      • What types of activities do you have?
      • Do you serve meals?
      • Do you provide transportation?
      • Do you monitor and administer the medication?
      • What do you do for incontinence?
      • How many individuals do you care for at your facility?
      • How many have Alzheimer's?
      • What is the staff ratio?
      • Is your staff trained specifically to work with persons suffering from Alzheimer's Disease?
      • Do you have medical professionals on staff?
      • What does it cost?
      • Is there any special funding available?


Respite Resources (use your back button to return to this site)

Respite Care in Tennessee
National Search
National Respite Network and Resource Center