When caring for someone, there may come a time when you need a break from your duties, whether this is for a day to take care of some errands or for a few days to take some time for yourself.
Both you and the person you care for can benefit from a break from routine, which is where respite care comes in. Respite care is a service offered by residential aged care homes like Medical and Aged Care Group (MACG) to give people a break from their usual routine by ensuring that all care needs are met from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.
This is a short guide to finding the best short term respite care centre. Here we'll go through what to look for, what kinds of activities are important, if you're eligible, the costs associated, and how long someone can stay in respite care.
What to look for in a respite care centre
When you are looking for a respite care home the first thing you need to do is ensure that they can accommodate any particular care needs. If the person you care for has dementia or Alzheimers, for example, they will need to choose a care home that has specialist services for dementia and Alzheimers.
Make sure you look into the type of rooms and facilities that the aged care home has on offer. You want to ensure that you are satisfied with the level of care and comfort on offer.
- Ask for a tour of the facilities at your nearest aged care home and meet some of the residents and staff carers. This will give you a great understanding of what a day is like in respite care.
- Feel free to contact a home and ask any questions you may have about our facilities and what type of activities we have available.
What kind of activities to look for in a respite care home
At MACG, our focus is on creating a community environment where we are dedicated to the personal care of every resident and respite care visitor. We understand that it can be a bit confronting changing environments, and that there might be a bit of getting used to your new surrounding. That's why we have a particular focus on making everyone feel welcome from the start.
We have an abundance of leisure and lifestyle options, including:
- Meditation and relaxation
- Memory and reminiscence programs
- Walking groups
- Physiotherapy exercise classes
- Pet and animal visits
- Sensory programs
- Social, emotional, and pastoral support
- Mobility and wellness
- Seated Tai Chi
- Movement to music
We have a wide range of activities available for people of all mobility levels and encourage our residents to get involved as much as they want to. The focus at MACG's aged care homes is on ensuring our residents and respite care visitors are engaged and content, with plenty of activities to focus on and enjoy.
Cultural and community activities in respite care
If you have English as a second language or have an international heritage, you will feel welcomed at our MACG aged care homes. Our homes in north Melbourne have a strong Greek and Italian residential population, and we employ multi-lingual staff who communicate with our residents in their native language.
A key part of successful respite care is ensuring that everyone feels comfortable from the start, and you are assured of that when you choose MACG for respite care.
Am I eligible for respite care?
If you are an older person who currently has a carer and who needs help with day to day tasks then you may be eligible for respite care. The first step in getting access to respite care is to get an aged care assessment completed.
An assessment will take into account your care needs and you will either be deemed eligible or ineligible for respite care. If you are eligible, you will be able to access subsidised respite care.
You may still be able to access private respite care if not assessed. However, this will be charged at a daily rate set by the aged care home as per the care requirements.
Is respite care subsidised?
The short answer is yes!
Respite care in Australia is subsidised by the government. You will be able to access up to 63 days of subsidised care in a financial year. It is possible for you to extend this by up to 21 days at a time in the event of an emergency (such as carer illness) or if you simply need more care. Any extension of the subsidised care days is done by way of approval from your aged care assessor.
How long can someone stay in respite care?
If you are wondering how long someone can stay in respite care we encourage you to call us and find out about your options. Generally, we see people stay with us for short term stays (say for a day visit or overnight) through to a couple of days (such as over the weekend) through to a week or more. The needs of you and your carer are the most important part of determining how long you stay with us in respite care, and our friendly team is happy to answer any questions you may have.