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Residential Aged Care Accommodation Explained: Respite Care

Caring for a loved one full time is a demanding job, both emotionally and physically. The ongoing responsibility and pressure to provide the best care can take its toll, so it’s essential that you also take care of yourself to avoid stress, overwhelm and burnout.

Sharing the load through Respite Care provides you with a much-needed break to rest and recharge. Respite Care is short-term care that may be informal, where family and friends spend a few hours or overnight at home to assist you as needed or provided formally by healthcare professionals. Depending on your needs, Aged Care services may visit your home, or your loved one may attend an Aged Care Residence for a couple of days or even a few weeks. 

At TriCare, we provide residential on-site short-term Respite Care to those who need it. It allows you to take a much-needed break from your carer’s responsibilities, with peace of mind that your loved one is being looked after with the utmost care. So, if you’re wondering if Respite Care may be a good option for you, read on to find out more.

What is Respite Care?

Upper Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence

Respite Care is short-term, temporary care available for elders who have a carer to assist them with their daily needs. Eligibility for Respite Care is determined via an independent assessment through the federal government’s My Aged Care. The purpose of Respite Care is to provide carers with an opportunity to rest and recharge. It is also a chance for elders to experience a new and stimulating environment and a change of routine. 

As mentioned, Respite Care can be for a matter of hours, or weeks, depending on the need. It may also be organised in advance, for example, if you are planning a holiday and cannot provide care during that time, or it may be organised urgently in response to a crisis or emergency, such as an illness.

Types of Respite Care

Upper Mt Gravatt Aged care dinning room
Upper Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence

Professional Respite Care can come in a range of shapes and forms to suit your circumstances. It can be a one-off, now and again, or be a regular occurrence. For some, Respite Care may be needed after an illness or injury to help get back on track. For others, it may be due to their carer having other commitments for a short time. And for those who are considering Permanent Aged Care, it can be an excellent way to experience what it is like before making the move.

Some of the different types of Respite Care include:

  • Home visits where a healthcare professional provides care for a few hours or days
  • Community respite care where your loved one visits a specialist respite centre
  • Residential Respite Care where the elder has a short stay in an Aged Care Residence
  • Emergency Respite Care can be arranged when an unexpected crisis occurs in the family.

How do you access Respite Care in Australia?

Sunnybank Hills Aged Care Residence
Sunnybank Hills Aged Care Residence

As a carer, you can ask family and friends to provide Respite Care at times, and you may also be eligible for government support for professional Respite Care services. Government care is provided for older Australians over 65 through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. To determine your eligibility, you will generally need to complete an assessment. If you require Respite Care due to an emergency situation, such as an illness or injury, you can call Carer Gateway 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 422 737. It’s a good idea to have an emergency care plan in place, so if something does happen unexpectedly and you are unable to provide care, someone can take over at short notice and organise alternative arrangements.

What does Respite Care cost?

TriCare Cypress Gardens Aged Care bedroom
Cypress Gardens Aged Care Residence

The amount to be paid for Respite Care depends on your circumstances, the length of time, type of care and provider. Commonwealth funding is available for eligible persons to stay in an Aged Care Residence for up to 63 days per year. A basic daily fee or booking fee may apply for those who receive Respite Care in an Aged Care Residence. However, no accommodation charge, bond or additional income-tested fees will apply.

The benefits of Respite Care are mutual

Respite Care can be highly beneficial for both you as a carer and your loved one. As a caregiver, seeking support and looking after your own health is a vital part of your role. Taking time out for yourself away from your caring duties helps you regain focus and energy and avoid being overwhelmed by the daily tasks and demands. 

Respite Care allows you to schedule regular time for yourself doing something you enjoy. It can also provide your loved one with some fun and variety to their days, outside their normal routine. It is well worth considering if you or your loved one could use a break. 

If you’d like to find out more about Respite Care in our Aged Care Residences, please get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your options or to organise a tour at one of our beautiful communities today!

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