The cost of respite care is usually the responsibility of the caregiver and care receiver. In general, in-home respite care is more cost effective than out-of-home care. MetLife’s Mature Market Institute Study of Long-term care costs indicated the following national averages (costs vary considerably from state to state):

  • Home Care Agencies – $21/hour for home health aides and $19 hour for homemakers/companions.
  • Adult Day Care Centers – $67/day. Some offer sliding scales for low-income families.
  • Nursing Homes – $200-230/day.

Possible Sources of Funding

  • Medicare. Respite care is only covered by Medicare when the patient is in a hospice program. However, Medicare covers the cost of some services, medications, etc..for patients receiving in-home care as well as a certain amount of a patient’s stay in an out-of-home facility for up to five days at a time.
  • Long-term Care Insurance. The amount of coverage varies widely from plan to plan.
  • SSI Disability covers some respite care for qualified individuals.
  • Veterans Administration. Inpatient respite care in a Veterans Hospital is covered for up to 30 days a year for qualified veterans.
  • Medicaid doesn’t directly cover respite care but some states are able to use federal funding to help cover the cost.
  • State Agencies – more than half of U.S. states have programs allowing family members to be compensated for respite care. Varies greatly between states.
  • Disease Specific Organizations, like the Alzheimer’s Association, provide some  respite care funding.


Valuable Resources

  • Alzheimer’s Association. A Respite Care Guide is available by calling 1-800-272-3900 or going online to the Alzheimer’s Association website.
  • Family Caregiver Alliance provides fact sheets and a newsletter for caregivers. Call 1-415-434-3388.
  • National Adult Day Care Services Association. 1-703-610-9005 or
  • National Alliance for Care giving.

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