Respite care

Respite care gives caregivers and those being cared for a break from their usual care arrangements and includes anything from a short stay in care accommodation to help at home on a regular basis.

Respite in an aged care home gives carers the opportunity to take a break, go on a holiday, get back to work, recover from illness or tend to other family needs.

Some people also find value in respite care as it gives them a chance to see how life works in residential aged care. While being away from home can be disruptive, having a ‘try before you buy’ attitude to thinking about the future can make the situation more fruitful.

Subsidies and the Aged Care Assessment

Subsidised aged care requires you to have an Aged Care Assessment in which a qualified health worker will determine the level of care you need. If you are eligible as a result, you can receive up to 63 days of respite care per year, depending on your circumstances, with an opportunity to extend. It’s a great deal so you may as well make the most of it if you can.

Accessing financial support

If you require government assistance to help cover the costs of care, you will first need to register and create a ‘client record’ at the Government’s MyAgedCare site, or by calling 1800 200 422.

See more about the Aged Care Assessment

Respite without government assistance

If you require respite care but haven’t had an Aged Care Assessment (or don’t require one, or can’t wait), full-fee-paying professional respite may be available in some states from a Supported Residential Facility or Service.

Emergency respite care is also available. Call the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222, or 1800 059 059 outside office hours.



Read next: End of life and palliative care in a home