1300 775 870

Respite in aged care (residential respite care) offers both you and your loved one the chance to have a break and re-energise, but it does come with pros and cons that you should evaluate before booking a short-term stay at your chosen residential nursing home. Our comprehensive guide informs you on the pros and cons, plus how you can mitigate potential risks and enjoy your residential respite.


Pros of residential respite care

Residential respite care has plenty of positives:

  • Both you and your regular carer can have a break
  • You can enjoy a new experience
  • A short stay in a residential nursing home gives you the opportunity to see if you like it
  • You have access to 24/7 professional nursing care

Aged Care Decisions can help you find quality residential respite care, while answering all of your questions. Call us on 1300 775 870 or fill out our quick and easy form. We offer a completely free service that focuses on your specific care needs.


Recharge with a break

Long-term care relationships between loved ones can be rewarding, while also being both physically and emotionally demanding. It can feel frustrating to lose some independence and need to rely on a carer and loved ones can quickly become overwhelmed and exhausted, despite wanting to help. Respite care in a residential aged care facility gives both of you a break, allowing you to recharge and engage in self-care activities in a different environment. This is a major benefit of residential respite care because it positively affects your long-term care relationship, enabling you to enjoy better care.


Experience something new

When you must rely on a carer to care for you, your world often becomes smaller with fewer trips outside the house and fewer social interactions. A residential respite care stay provides a new environment to enjoy and plenty of social interactions to experience. You will have the opportunity to try new skills through group classes and build new friendships. The experience should leave you feeling energised and positive about returning home.


Try before you buy

Choosing a permanent residential nursing home is not easy. Taking a short-term respite gives you the opportunity to experience a nursing home environment first-hand. You will receive the exact same care that permanent residents receive, so residential respite care can give you real insight. Most people qualify for 63 days of government-funded care each year, so you can organise respite stays at various homes throughout the year, creating a shortlist for permanent care in the process. When trying out respite care, you can expect to pay a basic daily care fee plus optional additional services fee for extras like WiFi.


Access 24/7 professional care

Residential respite care gives you access to professional care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows you to rest at ease, knowing your team of carers are paid for their work, and lets you enjoy the respite. Your loved one can embrace their short break, knowing you are well cared for and in good hands.

If you want to find out more about respite care, our team at Aged Care Decisions can help. Get in touch now through our simple form.


Looking for aged care?

Get a customised list of aged care options


Cons of residential respite care

Despite the clear benefits of residential respite care, it’s important to be aware of some risks. That way you may be able to mitigate these ahead of time. Residential respite cons include:

  • Future impact on permanent care
  • Extra cost for allied health care
  • Potential loss of placement mid-stay
  • Cost of respite care for ineligible people


Impact on permanent care

Just as you are able to evaluate a residential nursing home through a short-term stay, a nursing home has the opportunity to see if you’re a good fit for them as well. If they notice anti-social or challenging behaviour, they may not approve your application for a permanent placement later on. The only way to secure a placement in a residential aged care facility is through a permanent application. Respite care only gives you a placement short-term and there is no guarantee for the future.


Allied health care eligibility

Despite receiving the same standard of care as permanent residents, respite care visitors do not qualify for many extras. If you receive allied health services, like occupational therapy and physiotherapy, you will need to pay for these as an extra cost during your residential respite care stay. Permanent residents may be eligible to receive allied health services included in the cost of their permanent care.


Loss of placement mid-stay

If you become ill during your respite care stay and need hospitalisation, the nursing home will not hold your placement if another client needs it. This means you may need to find another place to stay before you can be released from hospital. This can be especially problematic if your loved one is overseas or interstate during the break.


Cost of residential respite care for some

If you don’t qualify for the government’s Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC), trying aged care through respite can be costly. In this case, it doesn’t usually make sense to delay entry into a permanent care placement.

Find out more about the assessment process here.

The Aged Care Decisions team are well aware of the pros and cons of residential respite care. We can answer all of your questions and help you figure out which option is right for you. Call us today on 1300 775 870.


How to mitigate the risks of residential respite care

Residential respite care offers some fantastic benefits to both you, your loved one and your long-term care arrangement. If you are thinking of respite care for your loved one, it’s worth looking at how you can minimise any possible negative effects first.

Reducing the cost of aged care

As mentioned, if you are only eligible for low Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC) or are not eligible at all, respite care may not be the right option for your financials. Instead, you could discuss a permanent placement with your loved one so you can make the most permanent subsidies and pension entitlements available for permanent residents. If you are particularly concerned about aged care fees and what option to consider for your situation, we recommend you contact an aged care financial advisor.


How to secure a permanent spot

A respite care stay can dramatically improve your chances of being accepted for a permanent placement, if you approach it with the right mindset. Before deciding on a respite stay, you and your loved one should discuss the benefits in detail. Instead of approaching respite care simply as a way of getting a break, it’s important to see it as an opportunity – for both of you. A positive mindset will allow you to see social activities as an opportunity to experience something new and exciting. Being open to building new relationships will help you interact positively with both carers and other residents. Nursing homes are more likely to offer you a permanent placement if they believe you are a great fit.


Managing your allied health care needs

Adding the cost of your allied health care needs to the cost of respite care can make it unaffordable. However, you may be able to manage your allied health bookings to suit. For example, you could book your stay in-between appointments so you don’t need to access allied health care during your residential respite care stay. Is it also possible to move your appointment to a time when you’re back home? Would it be ok to skip one appointment during your stay? If you can remove the cost of allied health care during your respite, both you and your loved one can make the most of a short break.


Arranging back-up care

However unlikely a hospital stay is, it is a good idea to arrange back-up care during your respite. That way, if you do end up going to hospital and losing your respite placement, you already have somewhere to go once you leave the hospital. This might be another family member or friend who is happy to provide care in an emergency, short-term situation.

Find out more about respite care options here.

The Aged Care Decisions team can help you find a permanent placement at a residential nursing home that meets all of your needs. Complete our short form to get the process started or give us a call on 1300 775 870.


Looking for expert advice?

Talk to one of our aged care specialists

INFO HUBReceive our FREE Aged Care Guide today!

Enter your email to receive need-to-know Aged Care Information from Australia's largest Aged Care Service.