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Who pays for respite care?

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Who pays for respite care?
carer smiling and standing behind patient with their hands on the back of their wheelchair
Day Respite
February 15, 2021
minute read

Find out what kind of costs are associated with paying for respite care

Respite care is a critical part of the ongoing relationship between the carer and the person receiving care. Respite care provides a break from the usual routine while ensuring a safe, comfortable and welcoming home away from home is provided while a carer takes some time off.

A key benefit of respite care is that it is beneficial for both parties. Not only does the carer get a break, but the person being cared for enjoys a stay in a new environment with new experiences and new people to meet.

Respite care is also an ideal way to get someone used to aged care living and can be a good way to find out what kind of aged care home might suit someone best. The questions many people have include:

  • What kinds of fees and costs are associated with respite care?
  • Is respite care government funded?
  • Do you have to make a contribution?

In this article, we are going to explore some of the costs associated with aged care and look at what you can expect to pay.

If you would like to know more about respite care in Melbourne, please contact our friendly team at Medical and Aged Care Group (MACG). We are always delighted to answer any questions you may have.

Who pays for respite care?

Respite care is partially subsidised by the Government, but if you have the money available you will be asked to contribute some money out of pocket towards your care.

  • The maximum daily rate you will be asked to pay for residential respite care is set at 85% of the single basic Age Pension amount
  • Any amount payable for respite care is agreed upon between you and the aged care home providing the respite care, so the amounts can vary from provider to provider

When you enquire with us at MACG we will discuss all of your care costs and fees associated with any booking. You will always know where you stand with us, and will not encounter any hidden fees or charges.

What kind of respite care can I access?

carer sitting beside elderly patient and holding his hand

There are a couple of options available for you to access when considering respite care:

  • Day respite care — a short-term visit where the person receiving care spends the day at an aged care home to give a carer a break to attend an appointment, take care of personal matters, or just to enjoy a day off
  • Overnight respite care — a stay overnight (or for a couple of nights) for a carer to attend to medical matters, go on holiday, or take some time for themselves.
  • Weekend respite care — give your carer the weekend off and enjoy a change of scenery
  • Emergency respite care — available at short notice when care is needed urgently for both day and overnight stays

We also offer specialist respite care for people with Alzheimer's or dementia and who require specific care for their comfort and safety.

Whatever type of respite care you need, there are Australian Government subsidies which are in place to ensure aged care respite care is affordable.

How many days of respite care can I claim?

Government-funded respite care is capped at 63 days of respite care in a financial year. In certain cases, you are also able to extend the number of days you are eligible to receive after an assessment and approval from your aged care assessment team (ACAS).

What is an ACAS assessment?

An ACAT assessment takes place as part of the process for receiving subsidised respite care. It is an assessment both of your eligibility for aged care, and also for the level of care that you will need to access. Some people have higher needs and therefore will require more specialised services.

  • An ACAT assessor visits you in your home and goes through a series of questions and assessments with you to establish what type of care is best suited for your circumstances
  • You will be deemed eligible for respite care or your request will be refused, in which case you can still access private respite care, or you can appeal the decision for refusal

Once you have been assessed as eligible, your assessor will help you find the best aged care home in your local area that suits your needs and comfort.

You can find out more about getting assessed for respite care through the Australian Government Aged Care resources website.

How do I know how much respite care I have left to claim?

You can check out what your balance of aged care is by looking on the Services Australia website. You can also access a range of services and information on the My Aged Care Australian Government website.

Please call our friendly team today if you would like to know more about any of the respite care services on offer at MACG Melbourne aged care homes. We are dedicated to ensuring the comfort and care of every resident, whether long term or day visitors.

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