No one wants to think about it but what happens when a carer becomes unwell, wants to go on holiday or simply needs a break?
Being a carer for a loved one is a privilege that can bring with it strengthened relationships and unexpected joys from cherished time spent together.
It can also be a challenge that brings sacrifices, frustrations and worry as the relationship you once shared shifts from one of equal partnership to one of dependency.
It's a combination of highs and lows, good days and bad days, keeping routines and having to change them, and cherishing the little things that will one day become the big things.
Despite best intentions, it is not possible (or healthy) to be a care giver all the time. Carers need to look after their own health and wellbeing and take breaks – for their own sake and the sake of their loved one.
Respite is a temporary break that gives carers necessary time and space to do things independently while their loved receives ongoing care and support.
Respite can be arranged for a few hours (often in home or at an adult day care centre) or for several days and weeks, often in a residential care facility.
Respite delivered within a residential care facility (residential respite care) is where recipients receive the same care and support as permanent residents. It can be either planned or on an emergency basis.
How does residential respite care work?
To be eligible for residential respite care, recipients must be assessed and approved by an Aged Care Assessment TEAM (ACAT).
A person who is approved for respite care can have up to 63 days of government subsidised respite care in a financial year. This can be extended by up to 21 days at a time if approved by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
Providers are responsible for checking the care recipient’s remaining respite care allowance as subsidies are not paid if the care recipient has used up their annual allowance of respite care days.
Respite temporarily relieves carers from their duties and should be an important part in caregiver’s roles so they can continue to take the best care of their loved ones and themselves.
Where do you begin looking for residential respite?
For many carers, finding local and available respite can be an arduous and time-consuming process that is made especially difficult if respite is needed on short notice.
Carers may prefer to visit the facility in person before booking and while this may be ideal, it isn’t always possible.
A new platform – myRespiteAccom – is set to change all this by listing all My Aged Care Government approved Aged Care Service Providers in Australia and real-time respite availability.
myRespiteAccom enables carers to search and book residential respite care from the comfort of their home – saving time and effort from having to contact providers individually. Once a carer has found available residential respite care that matches their needs (often location and time based), the carer can simply book respite online or contact the provider and book directly.
To find out more about myRespiteAccom or to book respite, visit myRespiteAccom.com.au