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Respite care, a brief relief for the caregiver

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Respite Care is a quirky phrase that’s often misunderstood but it’s a service that’s desperately needed to relieve most family caregivers. Respite means to provide relief to persons who are caring for loved ones. Respite care gives family time away from caregiving responsibilities, essential to caregiver’s well-being and mental health. Families who do not qualify for Medicaid-financed respite programs often have the greatest need. Depending upon the limited programs that are available to these families, respite care can include covering the cost of adult day care, in-home visits, or an outside facility.

This level of care is typically is not covered by private insurance companies, but many may provide chore services, minor home repair, laundry services and meals. Ask your loved one’s health plan provider and check the patient’s long-term care policy for coverage. Veterans benefits offer respite care and Medicare does provide respite care only if the patient is enrolled in a hospice program.

This is a list of programs offering free respite care:

Michigan Alzheimer’s Association, Respite Care Assistance Program

  • Application requires a physician’s diagnosis: Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia

  • One-time only $500 reimbursement

  • Applicant must be the person providing the majority of care for the person with dementia

  • Service must be provided in the area in which the person with dementia resides

Medical ID Bracelets

The Alzheimer’s Association also provides Safe Return: Medical I.D. bracelets for wanderers. Contact Caitlin Goyer at, or 248.996.1066.

St. Patrick Senior Center

Assessment determines hours of respite provided

Contact Adrainne Piner at 313.833.7080 x 213

Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers

Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair County residents

Services depend upon availability of their trained, background-cleared volunteers

Email or call, 586.757.5551

Hilarity for Charity respite grant

  • Online application available to U.S. & Canadian residents

  • Must be living at home with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia

  • Caregiver must be facing financial and emotional hardships

  • Visit for more information

MI Health Link

  • For those with both Medicaid and Medicare enrolled in a MI Health Link program administered by Aetna, AmeriHealth, HAP, Michigan Complete, Molina, or WellCare

  • Several ways to get more information:

Contact your member services or your care coordinator to request service

Enroll by calling 800. 975.7630

Call the Medicare and Medicaid Assistance Program at 800.803.7174

Visit or call 888.746.6456 for more information

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