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The Benefits of Respite Care

The benefits of respite care

Providing care for someone can be physically and emotionally taxing, and this is why you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of respite care. Carers need time to focus on themselves, and meet their own needs as well. Looking after themselves is of equal importance.

Understanding respite care

Respite care is short-term care that temporarily relieves the caregiver from their duties as carer, giving them a break from their typical schedules. Respite care may be on a planned or emergency basis.

It’s overwhelming to care for someone on a full-time basis and if you’re not careful you could become physically, emotionally and economically stressed. Even the strongest of people need support every now and then. This is where respite care can come into play.

Respite care offers relief to thousands of Australian caregivers by providing a break from the daily routines of caring. This might be as little as a few hours a week, or regular overnight respite. Whatever the situation, it gives carers time and additionally benefits the care recipient by changing up the daily routine.

Elderly people sitting at table playing boardgames

How to access respite care

Respite care can be on a formal or informal basis. To access formal respite care, contact My Aged Care to discuss an assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Regional Assessment Service (RAS). You may be eligible for up to 63 days of residential respite care in a residential aged care facility. Additionally you could’ve received approval for a home care package (HCP) or the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). If so, you could access respite care in the community or in the comfort of your own home via these programs/ packages.

Costs associated with respite care

There’s often costs involved with receiving formal respite care and this can be a deterrent for carers to access respite services.

The commonwealth government subsidises the costs associated with respite care in many instances. At last glance the maximum daily fee for a respite resident was set by the Government at 85 percent of the single basic Age Pension.

If you’re wanting to access residential respite care, it’s essential to have ACAT approval for this service. If you have approval for residential respite care you can have up to 63 days of subsidised respite care in a financial year. You can find out more about the costs involved with respite care by directly contacting the provider of the respite services.

Benefits of respite care for the carer

Carers are a very necessary part of Australia’s health care system, and their health and well-being also needs consideration, in order for them to continue in their role as caregiver. Everybody needs a break once in a while.  There are a variety of options to give carers the time that they need.

Carers need time for themselves too, and although fatigue is of real concern and you feel like you don’t have time, it’s important to look after yourself.

Caring for a loved one can be stressful, and time consuming. Respite care gives a little bit of relief and helps keep your mental health in check. It not only helps by relieving stress, but gives the carer time to interact socially outside of their carer roles, and take time for themselves. It means that the carer can take time to keep their own affairs in order as well as take time out.

Benefits of respite care for the care recipient

Respite care not only benefits the carer, but can also enhance the life of the care recipient. It changes the day to day routine and gives the care recipient time to be with others. It might be that another family member or friend provides the respite. This makes way for opportunities to bond with those family members. In other cases the person receiving respite care in an aged care facility gets to meet other people that they might be able to form friendships with. In any case it gets them socialising in a different environment. Some people feel more secure receiving respite care in an assisted living environment and prefer the experience to respite in the home.

woman having head massage

Avoiding burnout

By the carer avoiding burnout and taking time out for themselves, they’ll feel refreshed and on top of their daily activities. They come back into their role feeling refreshed and this can prevent unintentional emotions such as feelings of resentment.

Remember that there’s no shame in taking time out from your role as caregiver. Getting the support that you need doesn’t mean that your role is less valuable. You matter too, and the benefits to you as well as the person you’re caring for are clear.

For more information about respite options you can get in contact with the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre by phoning 1800 052 222, in order to access residential respite care services.


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