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Taiwan to relax eligibility for subsidized respite care

2019/09/21 18:54:17

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) An estimated 180,000 people will 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 (MOHW) said in a statement Saturday.

Under the new regulations, Taiwanese nationals who have hired foreign caregivers to take care of family members with a severe disability will be eligible for such services.

A maximum of 21 days of subsidized respite care will be allowed annually.

The MOHW will soon make a public announcement detailing the date the new rules come into force.

At present, only family members of disabled individuals who have limited support, such as those who live alone or are over 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.

MOHW official Chou Tao-chun (周道君) told CNA that the regulations were changed because severely disabled individuals need care around the clock.

Once implemented, low-income households will be fully subsidized for respite care services, while lower-middle-income and general households will be required to pay 5 percent and 16 percent of costs, respectively, he said.

According to the MOHW website, respite care services take place in an applicant's home or at a designated care center that offers 24-hour care.

In-home respite care providers are professionals trained to care for elderly people or anyone with special needs, the website says.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Chung Yu-chen)