A percentage of the senior market has Long Term Care Insurance. Hopefully more seniors will look to buy this insurance protection as it can give them more choices as they age and need some help.
For those with long term care insurance, many owners don’t realize that their contract has a benefit that pays for respite. According to Carol Burk, CLTC a Long Term Specialist for Newman Long Term Care, “Most policies include a respite benefit that will pay for up to 30 days annually. This benefit is intended to provide temporary services of another person or facility in order to give the insured’s regular, unpaid caregiver a break from providing care.”
This can be used all at once or over multiple times. Pull out your contract and read through it to understand your benefits. Susan a client of mine has been wise to use her respite benefit for her husband for the last couple years to give herself a break has this to say:
“I think respite for the caregiver is very important! The caregiver deserves and needs a break from the constant everyday care of their loved one. I happened to have had several travel opportunities and if I was going to participate and continue living my life, I needed to figure out a way to do it – respite care was it! Also, through early discussions with you (Eunice at Choice Connections) I realized I could have needed time away, from my caregiver responsibilities, there are options for short term care, take a break and come back home refreshed and able to be a better caregiver. It was also important to me to be able to have short term options for respite care rather than one, 30-day opportunity (most policies provide a 30-day limit on respite care per year). Depending on the LTC policy, the total cost of respite care may not be covered, however, it’s worth it to me to pay the difference out of pocket for the for the much-needed break and rest.”
The challenge may be in finding a senior living facility that will provide a respite. Not all senior living facilities have openings or will provide a furnished unit. Their RNs need time to make sure they are prepared to care for your loved one. Yet some facilities realize this is a huge benefit to families and are happy to do a short-term stay. Typically, a short-term stay may be a little more cost than a permanent stay. It is common that places may have a minimum number of days required, 5 or 10 days or two weeks are typical, and it may be negotiable.
If you’d like assistance understanding your insurance contract or in locating the best option for your loved one, Choice Connections would be happy to help.