Carers ACT provides carers with information about their options and with assistance to access services that enable them to have a break or ‘respite’ from their caring responsibilities.
What is Respite?
Respite is taking a short break from your caring role. It is when another person takes over your caring responsibilities temporarily, so that you can have a break. Respite is very important to help you recharge your batteries and care for your own health and well-being.
Respite means different things to different people and it can occur in different places. It can vary from a couple of hours, to a few days or weeks. The services we provide to enable you to take a break include:
- In-home help provided by a support worker.
- Assistance with special equipment
- ‘Residential respite’ where the person you care for has a short stay at an Aged-care home.
- ‘Cottage respite,’ which offers an intimate home-like setting with tailored activities.
- Recreation-based activities.
You are eligible to access respite services if:
- You are caring for a family member, friend or neighbour who is frail aged, has dementia, a disability, mental health condition or a chronic or terminal illness.
- You are caring on an unpaid basis (excluding carer payments or the carer allowance).
- You have been in your caring role for at least or likely to be 6 months or longer; or you are caring for someone with a terminal illness.
- You are the main person who provides care and you provide a significant level of support to the person you care for.
- You live in the ACT or Southern NSW (carers in other regions may access respite by calling the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre in their area on 1800 052 222.
- The support you are requesting is not available from any other source or funded as part of an ongoing care package (e.g. NDIS and My Aged Care).
Cost Of Service
Carers are requested to contribute to the cost of services provided. We generally ask for a contribution of up to 15% of the cost of the service provided, depending on your ability to pay. We will not refuse service to you because you cannot afford to contribute.
Register As A Carer
To enable us to assess your needs, we need information about your caring role and the person you care for.
We can collect this information over the phone when you ring our service on 1800 052 222 Please be aware that this initial phone call can take around 40 minutes.
Otherwise, you can complete the Carer Registration Form in your own time and return it to our office either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 2/80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt, ACT.
In an emergency, we will collect the basic information required to provide service and complete a full assessment later.
Assessing Your Request for Respite
When you call, our staff will need to ask you some questions and consider a number of factors, including guidelines on the use of our funding, before determining whether we can provide the support being requested.
When you call we will check your details and discuss your needs, the urgency of the situation and the type of service that might meet some (or all) of your needs.
We will also discuss alternative support options with you and seek your permission to refer you to that service. If there are no appropriate services available at the time the respite is needed the Coordinator will discuss options with you.
Coordinators will consider the following factors prior to arranging respite on your behalf:
- The nature and urgency of the situation.
- What ongoing services you or the person you care for is currently receiving.
- The type of respite and level of assistance that would need to be provided.
- The level of financial assistance already provided by Carers ACT.
- What the cost of the respite would be.
- Your ability to either pay for or contribute towards the cost of the service.
- The financial resources we have available at the time of receiving your request.
What We CAN do
What We CANNOT do
- Arrange a flexible short-term planned break or emergency break for you.
- Replace what you would normally do for the person you care for so you can have some time out.
- Provide information and referral to other services that may meet your needs.
- Purchase ongoing or regular support for you.
- Duplicate services and purchase supports already provided for in care packages.
- Pay for holidays or give money directly to you as a carer (even as a reimbursement).
1800 052 222* *Charges may apply to calls from mobile phones
Short Stays in Aged Care Homes (Residential Respite)
Feelings of Reluctance on Respite
Making the Most of Respite