Aged care – Securing the future of aged care for Australians – additional support for community-based respite care

At a cost of $26.5 million over the next four years, this measure will pay for an extra 100,000 days of respite care. About 1,000 people will benefit in the first year, increasing to about 4,000 people in the fourth year.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • It is important for carers to be able to get a break from their caring role so that they can also attend to other responsibilities and look after their own health and wellbeing.
  • There are an estimated 2.6 million carers in Australia of whom approximately 475,000 are people with primary caring responsibilities.
  • Community-based respite looks after frail older people or people with a disability during the day or overnight so that carers can get a break. It is provided in a range of settings including in the home, in aged care centres and in overnight cottages. This provides accessible and flexible choices for carers within local communities and helps sustain carers in their vital role.

Who will benefit?

  • This measure will fund an additional 100,000 days of respite care over four years. Approximately 1,000 people will benefit in the first year, which will increase to approximately 4,000 people in the fourth year.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government has committed $26.5 million over the next four years.
  • By expanding in-home respite options, this measure complements the residential-based demonstration sites for day respite announced in this Budget.

What have we done in the past?

  • Government expenditure on respite under the National Respite for Carers Program has increased ninefold since 1995-96 to $170 million in 2006-07.
  • This funding will be available under the National Carers for Respite Program which is distributed to services as grant funding, through a competitive and nationally advertised process.
  • The Australian Government announced in the 2004-05 Budget that it would provide an additional $2.2 billion over five years for aged care. Since then the Government has announced the provision of a further $1.6 billion over five years as part of the new aged care funding package called Securing the Future of Aged Care for Australians.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing measure.

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