Respite Care

Respite Care

Caring for a loved one takes a lot of time, energy and commitment. Even the most dedicated family member sometimes needs a break; respite care may be able to provide them with that.

Respite Care is intended to provide temporary substitute support for older persons in order to give a brief period of rest for family members and caregivers. While the Richland County Commission on Aging doesn't directly provide respite care, it can help assist with the costs associated with it when care is provided through the following providers:

  • Senior Companion Program
    • This program pairs senior volunteers with other seniors so their caregiver can take a break. Senior Companions do not do any personal care (bathing, dressing, etc.) but can provide company, making a light meal, occasional errands, and other light duties.
    • You can apply for a Senior Companion by contacting Richland County Commission on Aging at (406) 433-3701.
  • Thy Neighbor
    • This is a complete respite program that can assist a person with anything from bathing and dressing to light housework, errands and overnight care. 
    • Services for Thy Neighbor can be accessed by contacting them directly at (406) 480-7583. Care is provided at an hourly rate set by Thy Neighbor. Limited financial assistance may be provided by Richland County Commission on Aging (see below) for those who qualify.

Respite Care Financial Assistance

The Richland County Commission on Aging has contracted with Thy Neighbor to provide limited respite care benefits to eligible applicants. If approved, funds from this program will be paid directly to the care provider for the pre-approved number of respite hours. 

This program is available to individuals age 18 or older who provide unpaid, 24-hour care to an adult who is:

  • 60 years of age and older and
  • who needs assistance with two or more everyday activities or
  • who are unsafe if left alone for a period of more than one hour
  • who does not reside in an institutional setting (nursing home, assisted living, etc.)

Eligibility will be largely based off the Caregiver Application for Service however additional information and/or a physician's referral may be requested.  If approved, the Caregiver will qualify for services for a term of 6 months. Applications may be resubmitted at the end of each benefit period. Applications may be submitted to either RCCOA or Thy Neighbor for approval. 

Approved individuals will receive up to 8 hours of respite care per month in increments of at least 2 hours at a time. Hours may not be carried over from month to month. In addition, each client may also receive up to three (3) units of overnight care per calendar year. All approved care is subject to the availability of the contracted respite care provider and available funding.