The benefits of planning respite care services in advance

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If you’re going on holiday or preparing for a hospital stay – or even if you just want to be ready in case of an emergency – planning respite care services in advance is an easy way to safeguard the wellbeing of you and your loved ones.

Why pre-plan respite care?

Planning respite care services in advance lets you sidestep the unnecessary stress and running around associated with finding last-minute care arrangements.

Pre-planning respite care will also:

1. Give you more respite care service options.

Being more organised means having more choices.

Planning for respite care in advance lets you discover the services you need before you need them. As they say, the early bird gets the worm.

Planning respite care in advance can be particularly important in busy metropolitan areas such as Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth, where demand for respite care services is high.

2. Ensure a good match with your respite care service providers.

By taking the time to consider factors like location, availability, qualifications, experience, personality traits and service costs, you’ll have a better chance of finding a service provider closely matching your respite care needs.

Finding a compatible service provider means your specific care needs are more likely to be consistently and comprehensibly met during periods of respite care.

3. Help you to manage expectations around respite care.

Planning for respite care in advance allows for plenty of time to discuss, acknowledge and prepare for a temporary change in care arrangements.

Carers can manage expectations, and those receiving care can feel confident that their care needs will be accommodated while they’re receiving respite care.

More time to prepare means a more positive respite care experience for everyone.

How much does respite care cost?

Respite care is funded by the government for eligible elderly Australians. What you need to contribute for respite care services will depend on your income and the assets you hold in your name.

Most Australians over 65 (over 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) who need assistance with everyday living are likely to qualify for respite care.

To find out if you can access government subsidised respite care, you can complete an aged care assessment and eligibility check online or contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

What types of respite care can I access?

Short-term respite care is designed to give carers a break, while ensuring the level of care delivered to loved ones is maintained. Respite care can be provided from a few hours, up to a few weeks at a time and can be regularly scheduled or just accessed every now and then.

Respite care can be delivered in home, in community, in aged care facilities and in emergencies:

The benefits of in-home respite care

The main benefit of in-home respite care is that the person receiving care remains in their familiar home environment. Carers can be sure they are safe and comfortable, and interruptions to care routines are minimal.

In-home respite care is also beneficial for someone transitioning home after a hospital stay. Help with personal tasks, nursing support, and delivery of therapies, counselling, and allied services (such as speech pathology and podiatry) can be delivered in-home, assisting in recovery without the need to temporarily relocate.

The benefits of residential respite care

Short respite stays in aged care homes allow people receiving care to ‘try before they buy’ and experience the facilities, services, social, and recreational aspects of living in a nursing home.

Residential respite care is a great option for people who need regular short-term care because it can be booked on a regular basis. Sixty-three days of subsidised respite care (including emergency care) are accessible over the course of each financial year. Respite care in a residential aged care home is usually for a minimum of 2 weeks.

This article was originally published by our partners at Aged Care Decisions.

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  1. I would if I could. Have surgery and overnight stay in less than 3 weeks, have been trying for planned respite, BUT almost no provider will take bookings. Yes, He is High Care, Yes, he is bariatric, and while I can get immediate emergency respite I cannot book in advance. I will wait until a week before and try all the facilities close by and take what I can get. The places which do take bookings for planned respite, are full until end of January or March 2024, which shows there is a need for it.

    1. I feel your pain I’ve tried everywhere. I’ve been my mums full time caregiver for 21/2 years . And haven’t had a holiday for at least 12 years. I’ve booked a holiday in January and I can’t find anyone for respite. I’ve been told you can only apply 2-3 weeks before needed. How ridiculous is that !!!!!! I just don’t one who to help I’m so frustrated 🙁

  2. Very hard to get booked respite, in Adelaide you have to play the game, and pretend you are looking for permanent care , otherwise they are not interested, then you have to be accepted that they have the skills for your loved ones needs.. my mother is high care lifter, by their occ health and safety standards.
    Managed to get a month, but we didn’t stay,” extra service facility “ she was in but still didn’t address basic individual abilities , once you’re in the door. And they have your money , you conform to their policies.

  3. I am in Brisbane and have tried in the past to book respite in advance for my 91yr old mother, who lives with me, for my booked holiday. It is impossible to book in advance, the answer is always, just ring us a couple of weeks before and see what we have. There must be places where we can book, so that we are not so stressed before we leave on holidays.
    I am about to start the process again for September/October this year.

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Carer Gateway is an Australian Government program providing free services and support for carers. Call Carer Gateway for support and access to services, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time.

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