Being a caregiver can be a rewarding experience, however, it is also important to take time off to rest and look after yourself. Something as simple as soaking in the sunshine, spending some time alone or engaging in an enjoyable hobby can allow you to unwind.
Respite care services in Melbourne and the surrounding areas allow someone else to take care of the person you care for, so you can take some time to relax and improve your own wellbeing.
What is respite care?
Respite care is a form of temporary relief where a person’s primary carer appoints a third party to take care of them either at home or in an aged care setting. This can be done for work, for emergencies, or just to take a short break from their duties.
A few hours to a full day is the most common use of respite care, but in some cases it can be organised for a week or more if circumstances require it. Emergency respite care can also be accessed on short notice if, for example, a caregiver’s living situation suddenly changes or they can no longer guarantee the person’s wellbeing.
Who needs respite care and why?
Respite care is a valuable service that provides support to both caregivers and the individual who requires care, in a variety of situations. There are many different situations in which respite care is essential to provide support to the individual and the caregiver.
Some examples of people who may find respite care as a suitable option include:
- An individual with a developmental disability
- An individual receiving palliative care
- An individual recovering from surgery
- A caregiver experiencing burnout
- An individual or caregiver experiencing a personal or medical emergency
It’s important for both you and the individual you care for, to take a break from routine so you can take care of your physical and mental health.
Respite care takes some of the pressure off by ensuring an individual is taken care of while their caregiver tends to those other aspects of their life.
Types of respite care
Respite services take many forms, and choosing the right kind of respite care services for you and the individual you care for is important. Some common types of respite care include:
In-home respite care
In-home respite care is the most common way to access respite care. Transportation is not required as a caregiver shows up at an appointed time and takes over care of an individual in their home.
Duration: Less than a day.
Ideal for: Casual and regular care needs, such as when the primary carer needs to leave for a few hours to most of a day, for work or hobbies.
Residential respite care
Respite services provided at a comfortable location, where a team of caregivers are on-hand to assist with anything the individual requires.
Duration: Morning to evening.
Ideal for: When the individual’s usual home requires cleaning or renovations or the primary caregiver needs to leave for the day. It also provides the individual with a chance to meet other people receiving care.
Extended respite care
Respite care services can be extended for a period of time for things like caregiver holidays, recovery periods, or while their home is being renovated. This can be done in-home, but may also be done at an aged care facility.
Duration: Ranging from a few days to several weeks.
Ideal for: When the usual caregiver has to go away for an extended period of time. This is also useful between housing situations.
Emergency respite care
Emergency respite care services can be applied for when someone, such as the caregiver or the individual receiving care, is recovering from an injury or hospitalisation, or if there is a sudden change in circumstances.
Duration: Depending on the emergency.
Ideal for: Crises such as when either the caregiver or the individual has been recently hospitalised. It is intended as short term care during someone’s recovery period.
End-of-life respite care
End-of-life respite care services may be provided for an individual that is near the end of life. This ensures that their caregiver and the individual’s family are provided with compassionate support during this time.
Duration: As needed or until no longer required.
Ideal for: Individuals in the final stages of an illness or at a very advanced age.
Is respite care subsidised by the government?
The Australian Government allows up to 63 days of respite care per financial year. This can be extended for up to 21 days, if you are eligible for subsidised respite care. This is determined by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). For more information click here.
Frequently asked questions
Can I access respite care on a casual basis?
Yes, respite care can be accessed on a casual basis. Many respite care services offer flexible options to provide you with the support you need.
What do I need to bring to respite care?
During the respite care period, it is recommended to bring:
- Information about your medical needs, including current medications & prescriptions
- Hobby items such as books, tablets, or other small interests
- Personal items such as clothing and toiletries
Can I have visitors during respite care?
Yes, you may have visitors during respite care if you wish to.
Talk to us about respite care
If respite care may be a suitable option for you, get in touch with us at Banfields Aged Care in Melbourne. We pride ourselves on our commitment to creating a comfortable and caring environment for the residents in our community. Our team is compassionate, experienced, and qualified to provide respite care support services in Melbourne.
Whether it’s for the short term, or long term care, we are here to help. If you are looking for respite care in Melbourne, give us a call on (03) 5951 2500 or contact us here.