The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program provides caregivers of individuals a break from daily caregiving responsibilities and the stress associated with this responsibility. Persons must be caring for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias such as Lewy Body Dementia, FTD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
Both daytime and overnight respite care is available for residents of Connecticut via this program. It also includes a variety of services, both in and out of the home, such as adult day care, having someone come to the home to look after the care recipient, placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility for a short time, and exercises that may sustain the cognitive function of the care recipient.
Families of the care recipient may hire an individual of their choosing to provide respite care to ensure the care recipient is comfortable with their caregiver. This may include relatives, but not spouses or conservators. Alternatively, services may be arranged with a licensed agency via a caseworker.
The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care program is administered by the local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, and is overseen and funded by the Connecticut State Unit of Aging.
To be eligible, care recipients:
A variety of services, which include in home and out of home care, are covered under this program. This may include day care services for the adult care recipient, nursing home or assisted living care for a brief period, or having someone come into the home to care for the elderly individual. Homemaker services, such as housecleaning, cooking, and doing laundry, may also be available, as well as services to maintain the functioning of the care recipient, such as cognitive exercises.
This program may cover up to a maximum $7,500 in caregiving relief / assistance services a year. Every case is evaluated independently, so one should not assume they would be eligible for the maximum. No more than 30 days of respite care outside of the home will be covered, with the exception of adult day care services, which is only limited by the total care plan funding cap.
The family of the care recipient must pay a 20% co-payment for the services their loved one receives. However, if they cannot afford the co-payment, the Agency on Aging care manager may elect to waive the co-pay requirement based on financial hardship (as demonstrated by the applicant).
For more information about this program or to obtain an application, contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Connecticut has five different Area Agencies on Aging. One can find their nearest AAA here.
A statement from the care recipient’s doctor must be submitted with the application that states the individual has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another condition that impairs cognitive functioning. After applying for services, the applicant and/or caregiver will be contacted by an AAA case manager if he or she is found to be eligible. The AAA case manager will then determine the needs of the care recipient and the appropriate level of services.
Be aware that waitlists for assistance may exist and these waitlists may be different in different areas of the state.