Respite care gives you and your carer a break from your usual arrangement of day to day care. It may be that your carer has an appointment coming up, there may be an emergency, or they might have a trip planned. Or, you might want a change in your usual routine for a short while.
Whatever the reason, respite care is available on a planned or emergency basis when it is needed. However, there is a limit on the number of days of subsidised residential respite care that you can access. In this short article, we are going to look at how many days you are entitled to, and how to access respite care.
Want to speak to someone who can help you understand your options in respite care? Medical & Aged Care Group has eight warm and comfortable homes across Melbourne and Victoria. Call us today and speak to our friendly carers today.
How many days of respite care is a primary carer entitled to?
Every person who is eligible can access up to 63 days of subsidised respite care in a financial year. This includes planned and emergency respite care.
You may also be able to extend your residential respite allowance by 21 days at a time, but this must be done with approval from your aged care assessor.
Common reasons why people are approved for extra days of extended respite care include:
- Carer emergencies — where your carer is absent for an extended period of time
- Carer stress — where your carer's mental health is affected such that a longer stay in respite is appropriate
- Higher care needs — where your care requirements have shifted to the point where you require more comprehensive care for an extended time
The Australian Government subsidises respite care through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, which means that respite care is an option available to many older people who require it.
What kinds of respite care are there?
Respite care is an option available to give you and your carer a break from your usual routine. It offers a change of scenery and some breathing space for both carer and older person to enjoy some activities separate from one another.
You may only wish to access respite care for a few hours, a few days, or a week or two. Therefore, the service you choose to engage with will depend. Your options will also be impacted by your eligibility and the respite care services available in your area.
Residential respite care
When you need an overnight stay or longer, you will be accessing residential respite care. As noted above, you can access residential respite care for up to 63 days at a time, or longer if you have approval.
Residential respite care includes a range of activities and services such as:
- Programs and activities which are tailored to your needs, interests, and abilities
- Delicious meals cooked on site
- Attentive, highly experienced, and dedicated carers
At every Medical & Aged Care Group home, our aim is to provide a warm, comfortable and welcoming environment to everyone who joins us for residential respite care. In every one of our aged care home across Melbourne and Victoria we do everything we can to ensure you feel right at home for your stay with us.
Emergency respite care
From time to time an emergency which your carer will need to attend to. When that happens, we are here to provide emergency respite care for a short or longer-term stay. Our services include quick admission and a comfortable room no matter the time of day or night, to ensure you can get top-quality care without a break from your usual arrangement.
Emergency care includes all of the same benefits as our residential respite care, with the added promise that you will enjoy quick admission into our services.
Dementia respite care
Dementia can make day-to-day functioning difficult, which means that dementia patients require tailored and specialised care. Our MACG homes offer short-term stays for people with dementia, as well as for people living with Alzheimer's disease. We are proud of our specialised dementia respite care and ensure that every older person enjoys a welcoming and homely environment.
Am I eligible for residential respite care?
If you are currently receiving care on a full-time or day to day basis, then you may be eligible for respite care. There are a couple of steps you have to go through before you can access respite care, but once you have been approved you are entitled to apply for subsidised respite care.
The steps for assessment are:
- Check that you are eligible for a face-to-face assessment
- Get referred for a face-to-face assessment, which is done in the comfort of your own home
- Find out your assessment outcome (and what you are eligible for)
Once you have been assessed face-to-face and deemed eligible for respite care, you will also be informed whether you are eligible for low or high-level residential care, and any reasons and evidence supporting that decision.