Respite services for seniors

September 3, 2019

At its core, respite care services are a way to give carers a break for a small space of time. During this time, a dedicated professional provides care to a person so their carer can get on with daily activities, go on a short holiday or just relax. You can plan respite care in advance if you know you have an appointment or trip coming up, and it’s available for emergencies.

You can access respite care for a few hours, days, weeks or even longer depending on your needs, service availability and eligibility. The respite carers can come to your home, or your loved one can temporarily go to an aged care community.

One study shows that roughly 663,000 Australians aged 15 and over have cared for a family member on a daily basis. This was a massive increase from just six years earlier, where just 177,900 people cared for a family member on a daily basis. This steep increase prompted Australia to look at respite care as a whole and make an effort to make more services available.

A survey put out to carers throughout Australia returned the findings that 23% of the carers felt the need for formal respite care services while 16% felt that they weren’t getting enough help. Another survey showed that 68% of carers found the process for getting planned or emergency respite care difficult or very difficult.

This prompted the Australian government to look at their aged care and respite offerings for the general public, and they started streamlining the application process in 2017. Additionally, there are now both private and government-funded respite programs available for carers and their families. The government is starting to encourage providers to engage in wellness and reablement practise, and this extends to respite care services all over Australia.

How CatholicCare helps with respite services 

At CatholicCare, we’ve made it our mission to help carers and their families get quick access to respite care, whether this means planned respite services or on an emergency basis. We have our own respite program that provides support to the carers and clients by working alongside them to support their wellbeing. We believe that if you don’t care for the caregivers themselves, you’re doing them a huge disservice.

Our respite program runs on government-funded Commonwealth home support. We get a lump sum each quarter to give respite care support in each region.  Since it is such a specialised area, we use our internal CatholicCare staff to run our respite program. We have 12 respite workers on staff across both regions that supply short and longer-term respite care.

Another service we offer that aligns with our respite program is Boonah. This is a fun and engaging senior arts program in West Pymble. It runs two days each month, and it’s a chance to join a social group activity and get out and interact with other people. It’s excellent for seniors in the area who may not have family or friends close by.

Finally, we are happy to help connect carers to government entities that offer respite services. They can be both emergencies or planned, and we have all of the information you need. If you’d like to know more about our respite program or our seniors program, we can help there as well.

Whether you have general questions or you’d like to apply for our respite program, we’re here for you. You can reach out and contact our staff by filling out the form below. Or call us on (02) 9488 2500. We’ll be in touch, and we’re ready to help any way we can!