Respite for Carers

Respite Care

an aged care resident with a lifestyle care worker

Respite care is for when carers need to take a well earned break

There’s nothing wrong with needing a break from the people we care for. In fact, some time away from each other can be incredibly healthy. 

Regular breaks for carers can ensure they are better able to continue to provide quality care over the long term. For families, respite care can help improve the health and wellbeing of the family unit.

family with mum and dad in aged care with baby

4 Common Reasons Why Carers Take a Break With Respite Care

You've gotten sick and need a chance to recover

Illness is nasty at the best of times, but especially when you’re a carer. From the common cold, to more serious illnesses, the best solution for carer is to be prepared. 

Let’s talk about what happens (and what to do) when you get sick as a carer, and better yet, how to prepare for it.

carer sick in bed with dog curled up with her

You're going on a holiday and need someone to keep an eye on Mum and Dad

Whether you’re just dropping in groceries or are living with an elderly loved one, in one form another you are a carerAnd as a carer, eventually, you need to have a break. 

We’ve put together a 4 step guide on some of the things you should consider before planning a break for yourself and how you can give your loved one a holiday all their own. 

carer holding a luggage bag and handbag ready for a holiday

You need someone to support Mum and Dad after hospital

When it comes to post-surgery recovery for the elderly, studies show that getting a little bit of extra support (particularly in the form of physical therapy) can improve quality of life. 

Through post-surgery respite, you can give your loved one the best chance to recover in a safe environment.

carer with resident in bed

You've reached your limit as a carer

As a carer, it's easy to put aside how you're feeling. 

The reality is that when a carer reaches their limit it's time to give yourself a well earned break. If you need to talk to someone now about respite care, call us.

carer stressed with her hands to her head

Common Respite Care Questions

Where can I use respite care?

At home

Respite care where a carer comes to your home.

What is respite care at home?

In the community

Respite care provided at a centre during the day usually at a day centre, club or residential setting.

What is community respite?

In an aged care home

 Respite care provided in an aged care home.

What is residential respite?

How much does respite care cost in Australia?

Costs in aged care can get complicated. 

Let's work out how much you can expect to pay for respite care whether that's in an aged care home, in your own home, or out in the community.

carer stressting over aged care and respite finances

How do I access respite care?

Find a service provider

Google 'respite care near me', call Carer Gateway for support or get in touch with St Vincent's to secure respite.

Book a respite stay or support

Make sure you book in advance

Organise all of your paperwork

This is why it's important to book early

...and relax!

Take your well earned holiday or break

How long can someone stay in respite care?

Most carers have heard of respite care. But how long can someone stay in respite? 

Here's everything you need to know about the length of a respite stay whether it be in aged care, at home or in the community.  

two residents in an aged care home lounge

Residential Respite Care

Take a break and use our home away from home.

Going on holiday and need to make plans? Have an emergency and need someone to take care of your loved one? 

Whatever your circumstances as a carer, St Vincent’s can help by supporting your loved one in one of our aged care homes.

  • 24/7 care from registered nurses
  • Daily leisure and lifestyle activities
  • A support team made up of our clinical team, facility manager, lifestyle coordinators and more!
  • Spiritual and emotional support (where needed) from our pastoral care team
  • GP visits as required
aged care resident with care worker in garden

Activities to look forward to during a respite stay

People love respite at St Vincent’s because their experience is tailored to them. There’s so much on offer, that it’s rare that we can’t find something that suits them. 

Some examples of activities during a Residential Respite stay include:

Art classes

Concerts and sing-a-longs

Cooking classes

Hair and pamper care

Movie viewings

Pet visits

Walking groups and gardens

Full activities calendar

Community and activity rooms

Outdoor barbecues

Libraries and private reading rooms

Home and Community Respite Care

Have our qualified carers come to you

Our carers can come to your home and offer respite care wherever you live.

Whether for an emergency or a planned break, there are endless options for respite care at home.

  • Regular nursing support over a few days
  • A carer taking out your loved one for a coffee for a few hours
  • Someone popping around to do some cleaning once during the week

How you take your break is up to you.

home care worker with elderly man in kitchen

Or get care and support in the community!

While receiving respite services at home might work best for some, for others, getting out into the community regularly, or even just for a day or two, is a must.

At Community Centres, you can receive some of the services you could at home in a more social setting.

Some of the services offered at Community Centres include:

  • Organised group activities like cards, bingo, music & entertainment and group outings
  • Clinical support including Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Occupational Therapy, Nursing services, Speech pathology
  • Counselling
  • Group exercise programs
two aged care residents with a puzzle

St Vincent's Respite Locations

Where does St Vincent's offer respite care?

St Vincent's offers respite care across major cities and areas including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Sydney & Melbourne.

From respite services in our aged care homes to respite support in your home, we can support you when you need a break as a caregiver.

aged care worker with residents

Find help close to you

Frequently asked questions

The cost of respite depends on the level of care you require. You may also be asked to contribute to the cost of your respite care and services.

Learn more about how much respite care costs

You can access respite care for a few hours, a few days or even longer. It all depends on your needs, your eligibility and what services are available in your area.

Your respite care can be planned in advance - such as when a carer has a planned trip or appointment to attend - or available in emergencies - such as when a carer has an unplanned hospital stay.

Residential respite (or Nursing Home Respite) is available for up to 63 days of subsidised care in a financial year. This includes both planned and emergency residential respite care.

Learn more about how long you can stay in respite

You can access respite care in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Undertake an ACAT assessment -- You can organise an ACAT assessment through My Aged Care.

Step 2: Talk to our team -- Organise a tour of your local facility and confirm the dates of your stay.

Step 3: Enjoy your stay -- Feel safe, well looked after and enjoy your time away!

Get started with respite today. Call our team on 1800 778 767 for guidance on getting your ACAT assessment or organising a tour of a St Vincent’s home.

If you need emergency respite care, contact St Vincent’s Care Services on 1800 778 767.

Situations when emergency respite care may be required:

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

You may need to provide some information when you call so that our team can ensure the right type of care is provided.

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

Based on your ACAT assessment you will be approved for either low or high level care which will determine the level of respite care subsidy your care provider receives.

You can typically access up to 63 days of subsidised respite care each financial year, including both planned and emergency residential respite care.

It is possible to extend respite care by 21 days at a time with further approval from your aged care assessor. This will be based on your care needs, carer stress or the absence of your carer.

You may be eligible for respite care if you are an older person who has a carer to help with your day-to-day care needs.

You will need to undertake a face-to-face assessment to determine your eligibility. The criteria is the same for permanent residential aged care. You can access residential respite care 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.

Learn more about costs of home care

Is respite care right for me?

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