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Kentucky Adult Day Care and Alzheimer's Respite Program

Page Reviewed / Updated - June 29, 2020

As of June 2020, the official program, Kentucky Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Respite, is being phased out. However, respite care services are still being provided at the time of this rewrite.

Program Description

The Kentucky Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Respite program provides daytime supervision and personal care for elderly Kentucky residents, as well as individuals suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Services have historically been provided in licensed and regulated adult day care centers throughout the state. However, over the years, there has been a significant decrease in the number of sites that provide this service, and the official program is being phased out. That said, respite care services are still being offered, and program participants are now able to self-direct their care. This means they are able to select and hire their own in-home caregivers, attend adult day care, or in certain circumstances, stay at a nursing home for a few days. 

Most needy program participants qualify for respite services free of charge. Individuals with higher incomes may be asked to contribute to the cost of care based on a sliding scale. A case manager will determine the exact amount during the applicant's initial assessment. (Contribution is not mandatory). Also during the assessment, a plan of care is developed for which there is no charge.

The Department of Aging and Independent Living administers this program with funds provided by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Caregiver Tip - Family members are often overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caregiving and work.  They may feel as though they are not doing a good job of either and consequently experience guilt.  This emotion is both common and unfounded. 

Eligibility Guidelines

Eligibility for the Adult Day Care and Alzheimer's Respite Program is determined on several levels. Unlike many assistance programs, this program does not have strict financial limits when it comes to the participant's income and assets. In fact, there are no income and asset limits.

However, based on one’s income, there may be a suggested fee for services based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For applicants in a household of one or two with income up to 129% of the FPL, there is no fee. This means, as of 2020, a single applicant can have monthly income up to $1,371 and a married couple can have up to $1,853. For persons over these income limits, out of pocket expenses, such as medical bills are also considered. Therefore, there may or may not be a suggested fee.

Priority for services is not on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rather, priority is given based on functional and financial need.

Tier 1 Eligibility
Any state resident, regardless of age, with a written physician diagnosis of Alzheimer's or with dementia resulting from Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob or AIDS is automatically eligible for the program.

Tier 2 Eligibility
State residents without the above conditions may qualify if they are at least 60 years old, frail, and / or in need of supervision at least a portion of the day to avoid injury, take medications, or eat properly. Tier 2 eligibility is less black & white than Tier 1. Consideration is given to the fact that if by participating in this program, the individual may avoid institutional placement (for example in a nursing home).

Benefits and Services

Program participants are able to choose how they would like their respite services delivered. Services in adult day care include personal care and assistance with Activities of Daily Living, such as using the bathroom, moving from one location to another, and eating. Other services include well-balanced meals and snacks, recreational and social activities, training in self-care, supervision, and medication oversight. In addition, some adult day care centers provide transportation to and from the facility. Other options include in-home respite care or a short-term stay at a nursing home.

For caregivers receiving Alzheimer's respite care, they are provided with a trained caregiver to supervise the individual in need of care for defined periods of time. Respite care may be in-home or out-of-home.

How to Apply / Learn More

Although not intended for a consumer audience, administrative regulations for the Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Respite Programs can be found on the Kentucky General Assembly website. To apply, state residents should contact their local area agency on aging.

Following initial acceptance into the program, participants are reassessed twice annually to make sure their care needs are being met and that they continue to be eligible for services.

Kentucky residents who are disabled and require assistance to remain in their homes might also be interested in the Hart Supported Living Program.