An estimated 180,000 people would benefit from the loosening of regulations governing applications for subsidized respite care services when their regular foreign caregivers take time off, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday.
Under the new regulations, Taiwanese who have hired foreign caregivers to take care of family members with a severe disability would be eligible for such services.
A maximum of 21 days of subsidized respite care would be allowed annually.
The ministry said that it would soon make a public announcement detailing the date on which the new rules go into effect.
At present, only family members of disabled people who have limited support, such as those who live alone or are older than 70 and have gone through a 30-day waiting period without care, are eligible to apply for subsidized respite care when their foreign caregivers take leave.
The regulations were changed because severely disabled individuals need care around the clock, ministry official Chou Tao-chun (周道君) said.
Once implemented, low-income households would be fully subsidized for respite care services, while lower-middle-income and general households would be required to pay 5 percent and 16 percent of costs respectively, he said.
Respite care services take place in an applicant’s home or at a designated care center that offers 24-hour care, the ministry’s Web site said.
In-home respite care providers are professionals trained to care for older people or anyone with special needs, it said.
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