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The Maine Caregiver Respite Program is a program for state residents acting as full time caregivers to elderly individuals who have been diagnosed with dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. This program offers the caregiver a break from the stresses of caregiving responsibilities, and provides options of short term care of the care recipient in the home, as well as outside of the home. Services include adult daycare, in home aides, and short term overnight care, such as nursing home care. Caregivers are able to choose the respite caregiver and even family members of the care recipient are eligible to be a paid respite care provider. This program also provides an emotional outlet for stresses and concerns of the caregiver, such as support groups, as well as provides valuable information about dementia, hospice care, etc.
This program is funded by the state of Maine and is administered by the five Area Agencies on Aging. Services and eligibility requirements may vary slightly based on the area agency.
Individual Eligibility Guidelines:
Eligible applicants may be reimbursed 80% of the fees up to an annual cap of $3,800 associated with having an in home respite caregiver or sending the care recipient to adult day care. If the applicant cannot afford to pay the co-payment and their income is less than 200% of federal poverty level, some or all of the co-payment may be waived. In 2017, 200% of the Federal Poverty Line for single and married persons respectively is $24,120 and $32,480 in income per year.
Assistance with the fees for overnight respite care in a facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living residence, may also be covered. Make note, overnight respite care is limited to two weeks annually.
Modifications to the home in order for the care recipient to gain more independence, may also be covered, and has a lifetime cap of $2,000. Home modifications, which may include the installation of a ramp or adding door alarms, must first be approved by a case manager.
For more information about the Maine Caregiver Respite Program, or to apply, reach out to the Area Agency on Aging closest to you. To find out which agency serves you, call 877-353-3771 or click here or here.