Respite checklist- Cropped photo of three pairs of hands playing cards, the pair in the foreground are holding a mixed hand

Respite care checklist for residential aged care

What should I look for when researching residential respite?

  • do they specialise in respite care?
  • is it a bright and friendly environment?
  • are the staff attentive, proactive and well qualified?
  • are the rooms clean and comfortable?
  • will the room suit personal and health needs?
  • do they actively engage residents with an interesting social calendar?
  • do they provide a regular, nutritious and appropriate food menu?
  • do they provide regular exercise and outdoor activities?
  • is the home properly fitted out and easy to get around?
  • what are the out-of-pocket costs?

What do I need to bring?

  • Labelled clothing to last your stay. Don’t bring your favourite delicates, it is best if the clothes are durable as they may be commercially washed and dried.
  • All medications in a Webster/blister pack and a completed medication chart/ treatment sheet from your GP.
  • Depending on the length of your stay, don’t forget to bring any books, devices such as mobile phone or tablet or other small hobbies and interests.

Can I have visitors?

Have a chat to the aged care home’s manager before signing the resident respite agreement and they will be able to let you know if there are set visiting hours as well as organising a nice space for you to entertain them.

Can I leave the home?

Again, have a chat to the aged care home’s manager before signing the resident respite agreement and they will be able to let you know if there are any protocols to coming and going.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

It is a good idea to discuss and advise the home, when making your booking, about any requirements or preferences to make sure they can accommodate them.

Can I extend my respite booking?

You will need to check if the home has respite availability after you’re the date you were due to leave. Funded respite is valid for 63 days per year, but if you need this extended it is possible to arrange this through the Aged Care Assessment Team or you can possibly fund it privately.

What if I need a GP while staying at the home?

Most aged care homes have a list of regular GPs or use of a locum service if required.
If you would prefer your own doctor, double check that they can attend the home and that the place you have chosen will accept outside GPs before signing the resident respite agreement.

Can my pet come?

In most cases, you won’t be able to bring your pet for respite, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if they can come for a visit!

Can I bring my car?

Again, if this is important to you, it is best to ask before signing anything as some homes have limited parking. It goes without saying you would need a valid driver's licence!