What is respite? - Afea Care Services
November 15th 2023

If you are caring for someone, respite or respite care gives you a short break by having someone else take over your caring duties.

It can be provided by a family member, friend or a respite service. This gives you a chance to rest and look after yourself, which is important for your own wellbeing.

It also supports the person you care for so they can build independence and meet other people.

Where can you get respite?

Respite care can be provided at home, in the community or in a residential care facility.

It can be for a short period of time, such as a few hours each week, or for a longer period of time, such as overnight or a full weekend.

The person you care for can:

  • Join a new community group
  • Participate in community activities
  • Have a short stay out of home

Can you get funding for respite?

The person you care for may be eligible for respite services through:

  • their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan
  • their My Aged Care package


Short Term Accommodation, including respite, is funding for support and accommodation for a short time away from the participant’s usual home. The participant may stay with other participants, or on their own if they need individual support due to their disability.

Short Term Accommodation covers the cost of care in another place for up to 14 days at a time. This support includes:

  • personal care
  • accommodation
  • food
  • activities you and the respite provider agree to

The NDIA usually funds up to 28 days of Short Term Accommodation per year. This can be used flexibly. The person you care for can use it in a block of up to 14 days at a time, or stretch it out to one weekend every month.

The participant does not need to have Short Term Accommodation included in your plan. If they already have funding in their Core budget, they can use this to pay for STA.

My Aged Care

A person over 65 years old may be eligible for government-funded respite.

Respite care at home or outside the home can be provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Can you use your Home Care Package to pay for respite?

If the person you care for is a recipient of a Home Care Package, their needs are more complex than a CHSP recipient. They may consider residential respite care. Residential respite care takes place in an aged care home and best suited to people who need support for most tasks.

If a Home Care Package recipient goes into residential respite care, they will need to take leave from their home care package. Contact their HCP provider so they can temporarily suspend ongoing services.

The Government continues to pay the recipient the full basic subsidy and any supplements that apply for up to 28 days of residential respite leave in a financial year. The leave days do not have to be taken in a row.

If the person takes more than 28 days of residential respite leave in that financial year, the subsidy reduces.

The person you care for will need to undergo assessment to determine eligibility and their respite classification. You may call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for more information.

Emergency Respite

As you can see from the examples above, this type of care is often planned in advance. As a carer, you can use this break to go on a trip, attend an appointment or simply look after yourself.

But sometimes things don’t go according to plan. In case of an emergency – such as when you suddenly become sick or get injured – you might be able to get emergency support at short notice.

Contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 at any time to book emergency respite care.

If you get Carer Payment or Carer Allowance from the Government, you need to tell Services Australia if you’re not caring for the person for a full day or longer. This includes when:

  • the person you care for is in respite
  • the person you care for is being looked after by someone else
  • the person you care for is in hospital 
  • you’re in hospital. 

Looking for a care provider?

Afea is an NDIS registered provider and an approved provider of Home Care Package services.

We have been operating for more than 15 years in the industry. Our compassionate carers will help you maintain your independence in your own home, and you will have ongoing support from a dedicated team. Contact us now!

Afea Care Services
Afea Care Services

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