What is Respite Care?
Respite Care is a short term Residential Aged Care stay that is subsidised by the Australian Government to support families in caring for their elderly loved ones.
Respite care is available to any person with an ACAT assessment indicating eligibility for either Residential Aged Care or Respite Care. It is a heavily subsidised service that requires a co-payment of the Basic Daily Fee which is currently only $60.86 per day and involves no Centrelink approval, means testing or bonds. Each eligible adult is able to access up to 63 days of respite care per year without qualification.
Who chooses to use Respite Care?
Part of what we do here at Aged Care Decisions is to assist families in arranging respite care options for their loved ones. The reasons that families would choose to use our services to arrange short term care, are many and varied. Some of the most common reasons families approach us are:
- To arrange care for an elderly parent so that the carer can take a much needed holiday with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their parent is being well cared for in their absence.
- To arrange care for when the primary carer is themselves not well. In the case of couples who care for each other, it could be that one has a temporary illness which requires hospitalisation, or in the case of adult children who care for their elderly parent it is often when the adult child requires elective surgery. They can then use that time to focus on their own complete recovery so that they can resume their caring duties when they are fully able to do so.
- To arrange care for an elderly family member when the primary carer has other family duties, perhaps in a different location. For example when a grandbaby is born or during school holidays.
Can respite care be used as a trial for permanent care?
Another reason families choose to utilise the respite care available to them is when they are trying to decide if a permanent move to Aged Care is right for their loved one and their family.
As situations and care needs change, sometimes the most appropriate care decision is an Aged Care Facility. Whilst the idea of a permanent move can be daunting, a temporary placement may allow the resident to determine whether a particular facility, or indeed Aged Care in general is the right option for their situation.
Many times our team find that allowing a temporary or trial stay, utilising the respite care funding, helps residents dispel any concerns or reservations they may have had about transitioning to aged care. Often the residents enjoy having their meals prepared for them, the regular social contact and activities as well as the access to allied health services such as physiotherapy that is provided in an Aged Care Facility, and they choose to continue as a permanent resident after the respite period expires.
How do I find out more?
The team at Aged Care Decisions are experts at assisting families find short term respite care in their local area. If you would like to discuss the options near you for respite care, or even just find out a little more about how respite care works, then fill out this form and one of our aged care specialists will get in touch.