Respite care – a break for carers

In 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that there were over 2.8 million unpaid carers in Australia providing informal care and support to a loved one, family member or friend.

Supporting the carer relationship is a very important part of an individual’s complete healthcare picture. Giving the carer a break provides both the person receiving care and the carer to enjoy breathing room in their relationship and enables the carer to continue supporting their loved one.

Respite care usually involves organised activities and services for the older person, allowing the carer to take a break from caring duties.

St Ives Home Care offers several ways for someone providing care to access a break.

You can access respite care through government subsidised programs such as home care packages, the Commonwealth Home Support Program and the Home and Community Care program.

As well as providing direct respite services, we can also assist our eligible clients to access additional services in and around where they live, in some cases freeing up extra budget in the home care package.

You can hear Kim and Jack’s amazing story about their carer relationship, plus hear tips from counselor and physiotherapist Alex Roberts about coping with ‘care giver’s burnout’ in episode 1 on our Podcast ‘Path to Independence‘.

Further support 

There are various support and counselling services available for people who provide care for an older person, or those with a disability or chronic health problem.

A good home care provider will make sure you are aware of the additional services that you might be able to access and discuss eligibility with you.

Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)

Government subsidised support is available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

Some examples of the types of services that you may be able to access depending on your eligibility, what care you are already receiving and where you live include:

  • carer and carer relationships program
  • in-home respite
  • day centre respite
  • overnight cottage respite
  • employed carer’s innovative pool, and
  • emergency respite.

Topping up your care services

Your St Ives Home Care case manager may be able assist with topping up the services you already have. Here are just some of the ways they can work with you and your family to get the most out of care available to you. Please note these programs may have eligibility requirements:

  • top up home care package with private fee for service to assist with extra respite provision
  • refining existing budget and services can result in freeing up more hours for respite
  • using home care package contingency funds where available for emergency respite, and
  • those experiencing financial hardship can explore options for assistance such as the Seniors Assistance Fund.

Support groups, events and Carers Allowance

Eligible carers of an older person or a person with a disability may be eligible for Carers Allowance. Please visit the Centrelink website to read more.

There are many carers events, support groups and counselling services around. You might find your local state Carers Association website handy for discovering what might be available close to where you live.

Get started

Learn more about all of your options. Contact your local office to speak to one of our friendly consultants.

Enquire about support for carers