What is Respite Care?

Respite care or short-term care as it’s also known is available to individuals and their carers. This time of year often is a peak period for people seeking respite therefore it’s advisable to book into a nursing home in advance as you will often find respite beds will book out well in advance, especially if the facility has a good reputation.
Respite care allows carers a chance to take time to refresh and recharge, it gives you as the carer the opportunity to attend to everyday activities or go on holidays while ensuring your needs are supported. Don’t delay respite until your are completely burned out, arranging regular respite care may mean you can continue in your caring role longer and feel more in control.

Types of respite care?

Nursing homes

Respite care is designed to relieve caregivers from the demands of caregiving usually anywhere from one week to a few months. You should never feel guilty for needing a break – you can only be a good caregiver if you care for yourself first.
To be eligible for partially government funded respite care you must have a Aged Care Assessment completed. To book in for these assessments ask your GP to arrange.

Day care centres

This type of care is designed to relieve caregivers from the demands of caregiving for a few hours or even a few days.

In home respite

This usually involves a personal carer coming to your house for one to two hours or for part of the day. Your local council or the commonwealth support programme can often assist with this. Alternatively you can contact private home care agencies. To find out more visit MyAgedCare website.

You’ve got to have a little humour when caring for others – ‘5 Minute Respite Care’ video by Brenda Avadian


New carers resource website

The Australian Government has just launched new initiative Carer Gateway, to support people who care for someone with dementia, a disability, chronic or mental illness and or frail due to age. On this site you will find practical advice on how to care, information on respite care, financial information, adjusting from your role when caring.

If you don’t have internet access, family carers can call 1800 422 737 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm for information about services and support available.

Do you have any other useful resources or tips to share with family carers or health professionals to support others that may need additional support caring for someone?

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