RESPITE: The Costs
What to expect to pay—and where you might find some funding
Respite funding may be available through your local area agency on aging. This was established as part of the 2000 National Family Caregivers Support Program created under the Clinton administration that provided $160 million for such care. The program also included aid to provide for grandparents aged 55 and over taking care of their grandchildren who are younger than 18, as well as caregivers of any age taking care of someone with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's, dementia, multiple sclerosis and other such ailments.
Because most respite has to be paid out of pocket, advocates say you may want to talk to your loved one about becoming a signatory on his or her savings and checking accounts in order to have access to funds to pay for this care. You may also want to seek powers of attorney that provide authority to control and access all financial matters. If healthcare is going to be very costly, the patient can also set up a trust for his or her health needs, allowing you access in order to help finance care. Donna Schempp, program director for the Family Caregiver Alliance, suggests you consult with an attorney.