Author: Andrea Miller
Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

Respite care in assisted living is short-term care designed to relieve the person’s primary caregiver, often a family member. If you care for a loved one who has an illness or disability, respite care at an assisted living center provides a break. It also gives your family members an opportunity for social interaction.

How Long Does Respite Care Last?

Respite care lasts anywhere from a half-day to several weeks. Family caregivers schedule the amount of respite time they need with the assisted living center. For example, you can access respite care if you need to travel out of town or take care of other responsibilities. You can even choose this care if you simply want to relax and care for yourself.

How Does Respite Care Differ From Home Care?

Respite care takes place at an assisted living center or nursing home rather than in an individual’s home. It’s a temporary arrangement, whereas home care is often permanent.

People who receive home care from a family member sometimes go to respite care temporarily to give the caregiver time off from their responsibilities. The family caregiver could also hire a professional to provide respite care at home.

Does Medicare Cover Respite Care?

Medicare covers respite care for up to five days when the person receives hospice care. However, covered respite care must take place in a skilled nursing center or hospital, not at an assisted living facility. When you pay out of pocket for respite care, providers typically charge by the hour or day.