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How long can someone stay in respite care?

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How long can someone stay in respite care
carer helping elderly patient
Day Respite
September 28, 2020
minute read

The maximum number of days someone can stay in respite care, and other solutions

From as little as a few hours, to a few days or longer, respite care gives carers the ability to take much-needed breaks. This can be planned in advance, for when carers are looking to travel, but it's also available for emergencies, too.

In this article, we'll uncover how many days you can stay in residential respite care, as well as the other options which may help if your carer needs to take a break or holiday.

At MACG, we operate 8 homes across Victoria with comprehensive respite care services. To book a tour of one of our homes, get in touch with our friendly care team.

How much residential respite care can I receive?

The government provides 63 days of subsidised care per financial year for residential respite care. An additional 21 days can be accessed, depending on factors such as:

  • Care needs
  • Carer stress
  • The absence of a carer

What kind of services are involved in residential respite care?

During your short stay, you'll receive the same care and support services as those who stay in the aged care home full-time. Services can include:

  • 24-hour staffing with qualified care teams
  • Allied health services (at an additional cost)
  • Dietitian-approved meals, cooked on-site
  • Laundry/hotel services
  • Lifestyle programs and social activities

What are the eligibility requirements for residential respite care?

If you are an older person who has a carer to help with your daily care needs, you may be eligible for residential respite care. The criteria are the same for permanent residential care.

You'll need to meet with an assessor, and they'll work with you to find you a quality aged care provider.

You can also check whether you qualify for this type of care by taking a test on My Aged Care. You'll need to answer a few questions about the types of activities you may need help performing, such as:

  • Personal hygiene, like showering
  • Cooking
  • Administering medicine

What happens when the 63 days are used up?

If you reach the limit of 63 days, don't worry — you can still apply for an extension. This will need to be assessed by an ACAT, and will be dependent on whether you have access to adequate care needs outside of respite care services. Alternately, you have the option of becoming a permanent resident in an aged care home.

If you've already used your allocated days of residential respite care, you can still access other forms of care. Community respite is funded by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). It allows you and your carer to organise planned respite services so your carer can take a break from normal care duties.

Centre-based community respite

Available during the day, this includes social activities and gives you the chance to connect with other people. At MACG, we run these programs from our homes, and activities can include:

  • Gardening groups
  • Hiking and walking tours
  • Bingo and board games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Seated Tai Chi
  • Movement to music
  • Community giving and volunteering
  • Pet and animal visits
  • Sensory programs
  • Meditation and relaxation
  • Social, emotional, and pastoral support

Flexible respite

Flexible respite care services can be accessed in your home or in the community. It usually involves a paid carer coming to your home, so your usual carer can take a short break.

Cottage respite

You can access overnight or weekend cottage respite care. This usually takes place in the community, or in the home of a host family. It can be accessed for 2-3 days at a time.

Is there a cost to respite care?

While the government subsidises respite care services, there may be instances where you need to pay for additional services. The costs will vary depending on the type of short-term respite care you are receiving.

If you are accessing residential respite care through an aged care home, you won't have to pay accommodation fees or any additional income-tested fees. You will be asked to pay a basic daily fee. The basic daily fee is fixed at 85% of the single age pension.

Why choose MACG?

At MACG, we believe home is where the heart is. We've built each of our 8 homes across Victoria on this ethos, and the results are smaller homes with strong ties to the community. Each home has its own vibe, made unique by the residents who live there.

From the beautiful lush surrounds at our largest home, Casey Aged Care in Narre Warren, to the smaller community at Oaklea Hall in Hughesdale, we can find a place for you to call home — no matter how short the stay.

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