Better health and ageing for all Australians

5 Steps to Entry into Residential Aged Care

About Residential Respite Care

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What is residential respite care?

Residential respite care provides short-term care when you need it and if you intend to return to the community. Respite care can also be provided in your own home, in a respite care centre or in an aged care home. Residential respite care may be used on a planned or emergency basis, for example if you are ill, or to help if your carer is absent for any reason such as illness or holidays.

How often can I use Residential Respite Care?

Residential Respite Care provides care as a live-in care arrangement in a Residential Aged Care Facility when you need a temporary break. It can be used on a planned or emergency basis to help you in moments of stress, illness, when you need a holiday or if you are unavailable for any reason, and can be used for up to 63 days in a financial year. You need an ACAT assessment to access Residential Respite.

Respite care can also be provided in your own home or in a respite care centre for short periods of time without an ACAT assessment; however access will depend on need and availability.

How can I find out where residential respite care is provided?

For information and help to find respite services near you call 1800 200 422*. Respite care can be provided in low level or high level aged care, depending on your requirements. A respite stay may be just the break you, your carer, your family or your friends need.

For more information about respite care, you can talk to your ACAT member or telephone 1800 200 422*
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Is residential respite care for veterans and war widow(er)s different?

If you are an entitled veteran or war widow(er), the Department of Veterans’ Affairs may pay your basic daily fee for up to 28 days in a financial year. After 28 days, you are responsible for paying the fee yourself.

You may choose to use your 28 days as a combination of in-home or residential respite care.

If you are an Australian ex-prisoner of war, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will pay the basic daily fee for the full length of your stay in an aged care home for respite care.

Access to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs respite care services is available through the Veterans’ Home Care Program. For information about this, telephone your regional Veterans’ Home Care Agency on 1300 550 450.

The next section of this booklet will take you through the aged care assessment process.

Do I have to pay for respite care?

If you receive Australian Government subsidised respite care in an aged care home, you will be asked to pay a basic daily fee, which is a flat fee. The maximum fee for all residential respite care is set by the Australian Government. However, aged care homes may charge less than this if they wish.

You may also be asked to pay a booking fee to assist in organising your care and to secure your respite place. The booking fee is a prepayment of respite care fees and not an extra payment. This fee, however, cannot be more than a full week’s fee or 25% of the fee for the entire stay, whichever is the lower.

You do not have to pay an accommodation payment or an income tested fee for Australian Government funded residential respite care.

Can I receive respite care in an extra service aged care home?

Yes. You can receive respite care on an extra service basis if the aged care home is approved to provide extra service care. You will, however, be required to pay any extra service costs in addition to the basic daily fee.
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