The Average Cost of Respite Care: Who Pays, How Much, and More

March 25, 2024 | News | Reading Time 9:00 Minutes

Caring for the elderly: it’s an amazingly rewarding, yet extremely intense and often stressful responsibility.

If you’re anything like the 86% of caregivers who find caring for someone with a loss of mental health abilities (72% for those caring for individuals without a loss of mental abilities) stressful, you’ve probably thought more than once about respite care. After all, we all need to recharge and refresh ourselves from time to time.

Village Green here: we’re Levittown, New York’s go-to senior independent living community in Long Island, New York for compassionate senior care. For years, we’ve offered more compassionate, holistic healthcare solutions, and independent living services for seniors with and without mental ability loss.

If you’ve ever considered respite care, or are looking to learn more about what it is, who pays for it, how much it costs, and more, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure you and your loved one stay healthy and whole with quality respite care. Together, let’s learn about the cost of respite care.

What respite care includes

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Respite care services include non-medical, scheduled temporary care and supervision by a caregiver to a caregiver. These services can be based in a client’s home, in a licensed facility, or a senior living community.

Respite care provides older adults with the type of care they need while their primary caregiver or care provider is away. Both senior living communities, home health aides, and in-home respite care agencies provide respite care to senior citizens.

Types of respite care programs

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Respite care includes much-needed support from caregiving by an organization. This form of care can also include everything from:

  • In-home caregiving: bring a caregiver into your home to provide one-on-one care to an elderly loved one.
  • Adult day care: bring your elderly loved one to a facility for the day. You get to take a day off, and your loved one receives the care they need.
  • Senior care community respite care: Many assisted living and memory care facilities integrate respite care programs as part of their services to the communities they serve.

Respite care programs can range from a few hours long to month-long stays. Depending on whether you’re taking a leave of absence for a few weeks, jetting off for a day of relaxation, or catching up on an afternoon of errands, the cost of a respite care program will differ depending on the length of time taken off.

The average cost of respite care

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“How much does it cost, though?” you might be asking.

Depending on how long a break a caregiver takes, the cost of respite care will differ. Since respite care varies depending on the type of services offered and insurance plans accepted, the cost may also differ.

In general, most care providers will change on a daily, monthly, or annual basis. We’ll explore the cost of each in the following sections.


Daily cost

The estimated median cost of adult day care as of 2023 was $95 a day, according to a Genworth survey. Depending on which state you live in, the cost of respite services differs.

In general, though, short-term adult day care services — followed by assisted living facilities and home health care — are the most affordable respite care options for seniors. If your loved one makes use of care for more than a month, the cost of care will be higher.

Monthly cost

Considering the added value and peace of mind respite care can bring, families and caregivers often opt for respite care for a few hours a day, a couple of times a week.

For seniors relying on respite care for a month or more, costs will differ depending on the type of care received. For example, the annual median cost of home-making services in the U.S. was $4,957 a month as of 2021, according to recent data reports.

By comparison, the monthly median cost for home health was about $5,146. Assisted living costs about $4,500 per month, and adult day care costs about $2,945 per month. 

Annual cost

The annual cost of respite care varies depending on the type of service. Assuming a caregiver spends about four hours a day, three days a week providing care, the cost of caregiving may be more affordable than skilled nursing, assisted living, or other forms of long-term care.

Depending on the type of care provided, annual costs can range anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 for three to four days a week of part-time personal care. Let’s turn to how to pay for respite care for older adults in the next sections.

Table: The cost of respite services

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Daily costMonthly costAnnual cost
Adult daycare$95$2,945$35,340
Assisted living facility respite care$145$4,495$53,940
Home health respite care$166$5,146$61,752

How to pay for the cost of respite care

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When it comes time to cover respite care costs, some long-term care insurance plans will cover some or all of the costs of certain forms of respite care. Care providers tend to charge by the hour or number of days a caregiver uses their services.

Other payment options include social security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, veteran’s pensions, and community organizations who help cover the costs. Paying out-of-pocket is also an option.

Less common ways to pay for respite care

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While it’s not as common, respite care can be funded in other ways. The following agencies and organizations may also be able to help you or your loved one with their respite care needs.

  • 2-1-1, a free and confidential service for people looking for local resources
  • Statewide respite voucher programs
  • Access to Respite Care and Help (ARCH) 
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Various tax credits
  • Caregiver support groups

Fortunately, you can take advantage of various funding sources at once. Unfortunately, it may take some time to determine your eligibility for each credit and program offered.

Nevertheless, options exist. It’s just a matter of doing your research.

Get Village-level support for your respite care needs

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If you’re looking for respite care for you or a loved one, where your loved one will be treated with dignity, care, and respect, have you considered assisted living communities?

Respite care in assisted living communities that provide round-the-clock care and support keeps older adults healthy and active. With amenities like a fitness center, creative arts studio, theater for entertainment, and a casual bistro, elderly loved ones will have plenty to keep them occupied.

Regardless of whether you choose home care or assisted living respite care, we’re here to help. We invite you to take a load off your shoulders and get to know our friendly Village.

For all your respite care questions and concerns, feel free to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable concierge staff at any time. We’d be happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Can Medicare cover the cost of respite care?

Medicare only covers respite care for people receiving hospice care. Medicare Part A may cover temporary respite care in an approved facility for up to five days at a time.

Fortunately, there’s no limit to how often beneficiaries can use this benefit.

Will Medicaid cover respite care?

Yes! But it depends on the state which you live.

Medicare tends to only cover respite care for those receiving hospice care. However, Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) contracts with Medicare and is available to beneficiaries under Medicare.

PACE may help cover a share of the cost of respite care.

Can I deduct the cost of respite care for tax purposes? 

The cost of medical care in a facility is tax deductible. But, the cost of meals and lodging is not tax deductible.

Consider having a look at the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) 502 publication. This document gives a detailed overview of eligible, tax-deductible medical and dental expenses.

“The most competent, kind, and attentive caregivers.”

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“Some of the most competent, kind, and attentive caregivers work at Village Green Assisted Living. Jessica, Sarah, and Kristin love their work and residents.

They try their best to maintain a high quality of life for each and everyone in their care. I value that I can call them with my questions and/or concerns, knowing I will receive a prompt response.

The facility itself is beautiful, and the daily programs keep the residents engaged and active.” – Village Green family member