02 January 2023

Everything You need To Know About Short Term Respite Care

7 min read

Although incredibly rewarding, taking care of a loved one can be quite demanding. To make your caring role more sustainable and to ensure your mental and physical wellbeing are also being taken care of, taking regular breaks is very important and can help you maintain your own health and wellbeing, whilst making your caring role far more sustainable in the long term.

Many carers find it difficult to take a break from their caring role, often because finding the right person to take their place in providing care can be difficult. Carers often feel guilty about taking a break, or simply don’t know where to start.

Respite services help carers to take a break from their caring role by providing a worker or volunteer to take over for a specified period of time. This could be for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks. Respite services can be delivered one-to-one in the home, in a group setting in the community or a short stay in an aged care home. All of our homes offer residential respite care and emergency respite care, giving you the option to join us for a short stay.

Respite services can vary in cost from free to completely privately funded, and many are partially government funded with a fee or contribution payable by the person being cared for or the carer. If respite services are not available, family members, friends and neighbours can often provide care temporarily to give carers a break.

For carers, looking after someone requires an incredible amount of commitment and dedication and there will be a time where you need to take time away for appointments, a holiday, or just a short break to look after yourself. Respite Care services provide the opportunity to do that, knowing your loved one is being cared for in a safe and supportive environment.

People come for a short stay with us for a number of reasons; it may be an option for someone transitioning from a hospital stay following an accident or illness, requiring additional care and support before moving home.


How long can someone stay in respite care?

Although the time period is negotiable, generally, we advise a carer take a 2 week break at a time. This allows you to have a well-earned rest and allows your loved one to settle in to respite care, get to know their fellow residents and the staff and enjoy their time as part of the Estia Health family.


Emergency Respite

It’s certainly hard to imagine a situation where you may require emergency care in a residential aged care home, however this can occur for a number of reasons, you may become sick or injured and cannot continue to care for your loved one at home yourself, or have an unplanned hospital visit or fall.

Emergency respite care can be organised through the government support portal called Carer Gateway and our experienced and compassionate team are available and here to help.

Please call us and we will guide you through the process. In this urgent situation, we will be able to provide care without an ACAT assessment so that you can join us initially for a short stay.

Find out more about other Carer Gateway services and support.

If you become sick or injured and can’t continue to care for your loved one, their service providers, can organise emergency respite services to take over care while you recover.


How much does respite care cost per day?

To access government-supported respite care, you and your loved one will need to undergo a face-to-face assessment with a qualified assessor (called an ACAT or ACAS assessment) which is a process to determine the level of care you require.

If you’re eligible for respite care, you can access the subsidised care at a capped number of days each financial year, which includes both planned and emergency residential respite care. This can be organised via the My Aged Care portal by applying for an assessment online or calling 1800 200 422.

As a respite resident you will be charged a basic daily care fee for each day you stay in our home, which is determined by the Australian Government and is set as 85% of a single aged pension. Each of Estia Health homes also offer a range of additional services for residents with a daily fee. For further information on residential aged care fees and costs, please visit our understanding costs page or speak to a team member today on 1300 682 833


Can I pay for Respite with my Home Care Package?

A home care package is funding given to older Australians through a government-subsidised program with the aim of providing long-term support for elderly individuals who want to continue living at home independently at home. However, the home care package funds cannot be used to cover any care recipient contribution costs such as the basic daily fee for residential respite care.

As mentioned earlier, we do provide emergency respite placement and you can access this through the Carer Gateway.


How do you apply for respite care?

Residential Respite Care is short-term care delivered within an aged care home on either a planned or emergency basis.

An assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is generally required to access residential respite care. Eligible care recipients are approved for either high- or low-level residential respite care. At Estia Health, we can assist you in an emergency situation by offering immediate respite and submitting a referral for an Aged Care Assessment on your behalf.