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What to do when you need a break from caring for your loved one?

A lot of people see residential aged care as a last resort, luckily there are a lot of programs which can bridge the gap between needing aged care support in the short term and can often be conducted in the individual’s home.

A lot of people see residential aged care as a last resort, luckily there are a lot of programs which can bridge the gap between needing aged care support in the short term and can often be conducted in the individual’s home.

Two short-term programs in the aged care industry are respite care and transition care.

Respite Care

If you’re caring for an elderly parent or relative, there might be times when you feel you just need a break. Respite Care is a short term care program which can be offered in the home or in an aged care residence.

Respite Care is an opportunity for carers of an elderly person to have a break from their carer responsibility. During a respite care program the elderly person is looked after by a professional aged care worker on a part-time basis. For example, a professional aged care worker may take care of the elderly person for a few hours, a few days or perhaps a few weeks.

What type of care is offered in a Respite program?

In a respite care program, home and personal care services can be provided.

Personal Care services include assistance with:

  • Showering
  • Dressing
  • Eating and eating aids
  • Managing incontinence
  • Transport to appointments
  • Walking and communication
  • Aide with general mobility

Are you eligible for Respite Care?

Respite Care is based on

  • Priority
  • Need
  • Availability

Respite Care at Home?

Respite Care programs can be delivered to:

  • Day care centres
  • The individual’s home (includes overnight stays if needed)
  • Respite Care delivered to an aged care home

When respite care is delivered to an aged care home, this usually means the elderly person stays in an aged care home for a few nights or weeks. However, although residential aged care homes may have respite care places available they are not obligated to keep them only for respite care programs.

This means the respite place may be gone if you do not book far enough in advance.

How do I get respite care and how much does it cost?

There are a few key steps to entering a respite care program:

Respite Care at Home/Day Care Centre

  1. Call My Aged Care

Firstly call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to determine your eligibility for the program. The number is free to call and calls should be made during business hours.

Respite Care in Residential Aged Care

To arrange respite care at an aged care home, you will need to

  1. Arrange an ACAT/ACAS Assessment, to determine the level of need for the service.
  2. Once an appointment has been made, an ACAT member (often a nurse or doctor) who will then assess the needs of the person who is being cared for
  3. You will then be told what services are available in your area, and a respite care program will be decided on.


Free services:

  • ACAT/ACAS Assessment

Possible fees:

  • Individual service fees if using a referred service for finding a respite care program
  • Community-based respite care services may charge fees according to the type of service and the financial position of the individual
  • Respite Care in government funded aged care homes can charge a daily fee
  • Government aged care homes may also charge a booking fee to secure the place

Transition Care

Transition care is designed for older people who may need additional help after being an in-patient at a hospital. They may need additional therapy and help around the home for a while or whilst a long-term plan for their care is being decided on.

If you are eligible for transition care, you can receive the following services either at home or in a ‘home like’ environment (meaning that it will be a room which resembles a personal home rather than a hospital)

Examples of low intensity therapy services may include:

  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy
  • dietetics
  • podiatry
  • speech therapy
  • counselling, and
  • social work.

Example of personal care services may include assistance with:

  • showering, dressing
  • eating and eating aids
  • managing incontinence
  • transport to appointments
  • moving, walking, and
  • communication.

For more information such as current

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Costs
  • Your Rights
  • What to do if you have a complaint

Search for respite care providers by clicking your state below:

Do you need help finding aged care services?

My Care Path can provide you with a complete end to end consultancy service to assist you in navigating the complexities of aged care. Our consultants are ready to help - call today for a friendly, no-obligation chat! 

Call 1300 197 230

Article posted:Mar 21, 2019
Category: Finding care

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