What is Veterans Respite Care?

Veterans Affairs Respite Care is a program that pays for the home care of a veteran for a short time when family caregivers need a break, need to run errands, or need to go out of town for a few days.

Respite Care can be helpful to Veterans of all ages, and their caregiver.

We know that you are a caring family member of a brave veteran, but you need an escape from your family duties every once in a while. Family caregivers should not have to neglect their own health and well-being.

While it is important to be there for any medical emergencies, we also want to remind you that occasionally leaving the house, or visiting an unfamiliar place can be energizing.

The two types of respite care:

Home Respite Care is a service that pays for a person to come to a Veteran’s home or for a Veteran to go to an adult day health care program while their family caregiver takes a break or runs errands.

Attentive Care Services offers Veteran Home Care Services. For more information contact us at, 215-477-2100.

Nursing Home Veterans Respite Care is a service that pays for a Veteran to go to a nursing home while the family goes out of town for a few days without worrying about leaving the Veteran alone at home.

Nursing home respite may take place in a VA Community Living Center or a community nursing home and is available for a maximum of 30 days each calendar year.

This type of respite should be scheduled in advance. Services may vary by location.

The program is for Veterans who need help with activities of daily living. Examples include help with bathing, dressing, or fixing meals.

This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or their caregiver is experiencing burden.

Respite Care for Veterans can be used in combination with other Home and Community-Based Services.

Respite Care can help lower the stress the Veterans and their family caregiver may feel when managing a Veteran’s short-term or long-term care needs at home.

Who is eligible for Respite Care?

All enrolled Veterans are eligible for Respite Care IF they meet the clinical criteria for the service and it is available. Services vary by location.

If the Respite Care is provided by a community agency, adult day health care center, or nursing home, the Veteran also needs to meet community care eligibility.

A copay for Respite Care may be charged based on your VA service-connected disability status and financial information. Contact your VA social worker/case manager to complete the Application for Extended Care Benefits (VA Form 10-10EC) to learn the amount of your copay.

Available Veteran Respite Care Services

You may be able to get Respite Care in a number of ways:

  • A paid Home Health Aide could come to your home
  • You could attend an Adult Day Health Care center
  • You could go to a Nursing Home

Julie Carter says, “People who feel like they want to be heroes or that it’s their duty to be 24/7 typically burn out because they don’t have a mechanism for rejuvenating and taking a break”.

And, according to Antoinette McGeorge, “Respite care is a temporary period of care whereby the caregiver can receive relief from the day-to-day stress and strain of caring for a loved one.

It could include 24-hour-a-day care within an approved contract nursing home, or it could be time-limited care through homemaker/home health aide services.

The caregiver is very important in helping to maintain a veteran in their home community, so we are always concerned with the caregiver, but that veteran is why we function at the department of veterans affairs.

So we have to assure that that veteran’s needs will be taken care of when that primary caregiver is out of the home.

Every enrolled veteran is eligible for respite services. If you are a caregiver and want to receive services, you should call your primary care team”.

Caregivers who are 24/7 truly need time away, and I think of it as a time sort of to fill up your tank so you can come back and be reenergized to do the job at hand.

For more information and to help you decide if Respite Care is right for you, visit VA Benefits and Health Care or contact Attentive Care Services.