People who care for a relative at home need recovery phases in order to regenerate from this strenuous and psychologically stressful work. Sometimes they get sick themselves, or the person in need of care needs to be remodeled according to requirements. These are just a few reasons in which short-term care, in addition to day and night care and preventive care, is a way of relieving relatives and bridging this time. It is a phase where the elderly need companionship since it is challenging for them to survive alone. 

When people in need of care can claim short-term care

People in need of care are entitled to short-term care under certain conditions. There is a right to short-term care following a hospital stay, if there has not yet been an allocation to a care level or if home care has yet to be organized if the care situation changes acutely and the continuation requires sufficient preparation. This applies to the organization of the living situation or the outpatient care service as well as to the purchase of a care bed, if the caregiver falls ill, needs time off, is prevented for professional reasons or goes on vacation, or if the caregiver is in a crisis situation himself.

Short-term care places in nursing homes

With short-term care, those in need of care move into a care home temporarily, i.e. for a few days or weeks. There are institutions that specialize in short-term care. Mostly, however, these are so-called flexible short-term care places in nursing homes. This means that short-term residents move into a room that is currently unoccupied. Relatives can obtain an overview of short-term care facilities from the care fund in which the person in need of care is insured or from the nearest care support point. If the short-term care follows a hospital stay, the social service in the hospital also helps to find a suitable short-term care place and to organize the transfer there.

If there is enough time and there are several houses to choose from, it makes sense for relatives to take a look at the facilities. Ask whether short-term residents are also allowed to take part in the activities offered and whether there is a concept for short-term care. Once you know when your dependent relative needs a place for short-term care, you should start arranging a place. Because short-term care places are booked up very quickly, especially during the holiday season. There can also be price differences, which is why it is worth comparing the short-term care places.

Who pays the costs for short-term care?

People in need of care can take advantage of short-term care for up to 56 days a year, for which a separate application is required. From care level 2, the care insurance covers the care and support costs in the care home and pays up to $ 1,612. The costs are made up of different items. The statutory long-term care insurance companies bear the costs for general care services, e.g. for personal hygiene and nutrition, as well as for social care. This includes group events such as gymnastics or singing together, as well as walks.

This does not include the costs for accommodation and meals that arise during the stay and that must be borne by the insured person. These can be financed at least partially from the relief amount of $ 125. People in need of care have the option of topping up their short-term care with preventive care so that the entitlement can increase to up to $ 3,224.

If the person in need of care is not financially able to pay their own share of the short-term care on their own, they can submit an application for financial support to the social welfare office, which is entitled “Help for care”. During the duration of the short-term care, the care allowance is not suspended, but half of it continues to be paid.

There are certain exceptional cases in which it is not the long-term care insurance fund but the statutory health insurance that bears the costs for short-term care in an inpatient facility. This is the case when home nursing, basic care, treatment care, and domestic care are no longer sufficient to provide care for the person in need of care. This is of particular benefit to people who are discharged after a hospital stay and need help, but who have not yet been assigned a care level by the Medical Health Insurance.