What is Respite Care?
In residential aged care there is primarily two different care options; permanent care and respite care. Whilst both offer the resident the same level of care, respite care is a temporary arrangement that does not require down payment of an aged care bond or any long-term contracts. Respite can be used as both a temporary care option, for example when the resident’s regular carer is unwell or unavailable. Respite care can also be used to allow the family additional time to finalise finance and other necessary items to prepare for their loved one to enter into permanent care.
How COVID-19 has impacted respite?
At Aged Care Decisions we regularly assist families to arrange respite care for their elderly loved ones. As the COVID-19 situation has developed we have noticed the following factors impacting on the planning and admission to respite care.
1. Respite Availability Changes
As aged care facilities adapt and plan their response to COVID-19, the availability of planned and emergency respite bed is continually changing. Our Placement Specialists are currently finding that it is taking longer to search for and secure respite services in all states. Practically, this means that if you are considering utilising respite care in the next 3 months it is important you start the process immediately to ensure there is enough time to secure a placement.
2. Differences between facilities admissions policies and procedures
It is important to be aware that Aged care facilities and providers each have different policies and procedures when it comes to respite care. This can make it difficult to and somewhat overwhelming when trying to compare facilities and providers. If you require any assistance with finding suitable respite care, our Placement Specialists receive real-time information on the respite and admission policies of our provider partners and any changes to these policies. This ensures that we can fully support our clients by having complete and accurate vision when arranging placements.
3. Utilisation of respite to ensure continued care
As a result of the government isolation rules and guidelines, and particularly with elderly Australians being encouraged to stay at home at all times, we have found respite care is being used to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities have continuous access to high-quality health care. If you are finding it difficult to provide the level of care your elderly family member requires, or should there be a lack of availability of home care services in your area, respite care can be a temporary option that alleviates stress and ensure continuous care.
The Australian Government funds up to 63 days of respite care per eligible person over 65 years of age. To find out more about respite care eligibility our placement support team are available to assist you on 1300 775 870.