Caring can be rewarding as well as being physically and emotionally demanding. From time to time, carers may need to take a break from their caring role.
Carers may also need help for a specific period. For example, if you are ill or recovering from an illness. These types of breaks are called carer ‘respite’.
Respite may be given informally by friends, family, neighbours or by formal respite services. These formal services provide a paid worker called a “support worker” to look after the person you usually care for to give you that break.
Who is eligible for respite?
Most formal respite is provided as a result of a needs assessment of the ‘care recipient’ (the person that you care for).
For recipients aged 18 – 65 years contact Community Access point on 1800 600 300
For recipients aged 65 years & over call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422
Community Access Point assessment: Your care recipient is interviewed by an assessor who conducts a series of questions and observations which are recorded as the ‘ongoing needs assessment’.
ACAT assessment: The recipient usually needs to have ‘complex care needs’ as a result of two or more chronic medical conditions, or one severe condition. ACAT teams do not generally help you find respite services – they just provide the eligibility assessment.
RAS assessment: For people over 65 years with moderate needs. Carers and care recipients are interviewed through holistic re-ablement model. The RAS Assessor can help you find services.
To find out more call Carers Queensland’s Carer Advisory Service (CAS) on 1800 242 636
What types of formal respite services are there?
There are several types or respite service available, including the following:
In-home respite – a care worker provides care in the home or may organise to take the person you care for out for an activity. In-home respite can also be overnight.
Centre-based respite – held at a centre or club that organises group activities for the person you care for.
Community access respite – provides activities to encourage social interaction and some independence in the person you care for.
Residential respite care – a short stay in a residential care home can be organised for the person you care for.
Consumer-directed respite care (CDRC) – a CDRC package gives you greater choice about the type and delivery of respite care.
Who provides respite and how do I access this service?
Start by calling the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCC) for assistance with options to take a break through short-term and emergency respite. Where appropriate a CRCC can help with putting in place regular respite for a carer to reduce the need for unplanned and emergency respite. CRCCs also provide information about carer support services in their local area.
The CRCC can be contacted by calling 1800 052 222. For support outside of standard business hours, call 1800 059 059.
Is there a cost for respite services?
The cost of respite varies depending on the type of respite and service provider. Some organisations offer private respite services that you may need to pay for in full.
Other services may be free or subsidised by government programs. The CRCC can provide information about respite services and if there are associated fees that you may need to pay.