Respite Care:

Short term care

Short-term care provides care and support services for a set period of time. There are different types of short-term care depending on your needs, that all aim to help you with day-to-day tasks to either restore or maintain your independence. Depending on the type of short-term care you access, help can be provided for a few days to a few months at a time.

What help is available?

There are three types of short-term care. Each serves a different purpose.

Short-term restorative care: Help with everyday tasks.  For those who are starting to need help with daily tasks and want to delay or even avoid the need for long-term care and support services.  A team of health professionals will help you reverse or slow the difficulties you are experiencing and develop a plan for how you can manage them yourself.

Transition care: Help to recover after a hospital stay.  For those who need to recover and regain independence after a stay in hospital. Specialised care and support will help you move safely from hospital and back to everyday life, avoiding the need for longer term care and support.

Respite care: Help to give you or your carer a break. For when you or your carer need to take a break for a short period of time.  This could be for a few hours at your home, a day out in the community, or a short stay for a few nights in an aged care home to provide for your everyday needs without your carer.

The Australian Government subsidises short-term care providers directly to make care more affordable.  You are expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to do so. How much you may pay varies depending on the type and level of care and services you will receive.

The maximum amount you could be asked to pay:

$10.85 per day, if you receive care while living at home (17.5% of the single aged pension).
$52.71 per day, if you receive care while living in a residential setting (85% of the single aged pension).

Emergency respite

If you need emergency respite care, contact the Carer Gateway on
1800 422 737.

Situations where emergency respite care might be needed, include:

  • An urgent situation that makes it difficult for your carer to look after you.
  • Major illness or death of a primary carer

Community respite

Community respite is best suited if you need occasional carer support for some day-to-day tasks or activities. It is available during the day, overnight, or for the weekend.

Types of community respite:

  • Centre-based respite
  • Cottage respite
  • Flexible respite

Am I eligible for community respite?

Your eligibility will be assessed during your face-to-face assessment organised through a My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

Residential respite

Residential respite in an aged care home is available for a few days through to a few weeks at a time. Residential respite is best suited if you need ongoing, continuous carer support for most tasks.

How does residential respite work?

During your short stay, you will be entitled to the same care and support services as permanent residents. For instance, you will be given a room and hotel-type services such as meals, laundry and social activities, as well as services to meet your personal and care needs.

Based on your initial ACAT assessment, you will be approved for either low or high level care. This will determine the level of respite subsidy your provider will receive, and ensure you receive care appropriate to your needs. Being approved for high level care allows you to access low level care, but not vice-versa.

How much residential respite care can I receive?

You can access up to 63 days of subsidised care in a financial year. This includes both planned and emergency residential respite care. It is possible to extend this by 21 days at a time, with further approval from your aged care assessor. This may be required due to your care needs, carer stress, or the absence of your carer.

Am I eligible for residential respite?

You may be eligible for residential respite care if you are an older person who has a carer to help you with your day-to-day care needs. You will need a face-to-face assessment to determine your eligibility. The criteria are the same for permanent residential care.

If eligible, your assessor will also work with you and your carer to find a suitable aged care home.

You can access residential respite in addition to receiving support from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or a Home Care Package. However, you cannot access residential respite care if you are already permanently living in an aged care home.