What is respite?
Respite means having a break from your caring role for a few hours or a few days, or having some help for a short period. Respite can be an opportunity for everyone to have a break. Sometimes this also includes the person being cared for. As families and carers have different respite needs, there are several different types of respite services available on the Central Coast and these are described below:
Residential respite (nursing home or hostel)
Residential respite means that an eligible person can stay for a short time in a Commonwealth approved residential aged care facility. These may be High Care facilities (Nursing Homes) or Low Care facilities (Aged Care Hostels). Many facilities may provide both high and low care.
To receive respite care in an aged care facility, a person must first be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). You can contact an ACAT on the Central Coast by ringing (02) 4304 0700.
Residential respite often needs to be booked in advance although in case of emergencies it may be organised at short notice.
Respite in your home (daytime or overnight)
This is provided in a person’s own home. Respite service providers will arrange for their trained staff to visit the Carer and temporarily relieve them of her/his duties by looking after their loved one in their familiar home environment. The staff will provide companionship to the person that requires care, and at the same time may attend to the person’s meal preparation, do some tidying, and other duties that the carer would usually perform.
Respite in the home can take place during the daytime, evening or overnight.
Away from home respite (can take place in several settings)
Centre Based Day Respite is also often known as a Day Care Centre or Day Centre. Day Centres usually provide a half or full day respite in a community setting. Centre staff conduct different activities including occasional outings for those who want to participate. Meals and some assistance with personal tasks are provided. Several of the Day Centres have buses available that can pick up and drop clients back at home. Some Centre based respite services specialise in caring for people who have dementia.
Other (Away From Home) Daytime respite services enable the person who is being cared for to access an activity of their choice in the community. Activities can include shopping, movies, walks, coffee, a meal out etc. Trained staff support the person with any required activities of daily living including transport to and from the activity, assistance with toileting, money handling, behaviour support etc. This type of respite is useful for a carer who wishes to relax at home during respite time. It is also useful for a person being cared for who wishes to participate in an activity in the community that they could not otherwise do on their own.
Respite Cottages – provide 24 hours respite in a home-like environment for carers of people with dementia or people who are frail aged and/or have a disability, or have a Mental Illness. The Cottages usually have 2 – 4 individual respite rooms. During the day, trained staff conduct a variety or activities for those who want to participate. Meals and some assistance with personal care is provided.
Emergency Respite – is provided by the Central Coast Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ring 1800 052 222.
Emergency respite might be needed if something unexpected happens, such as a carer becoming ill, or a family situation that requires the carer to take urgent leave. Emergency respite may be arranged to take place in the home, in a cottage or in a residential facility. These tasks can include personal care, domestic assistance, companionship or assistance with medication.
Other Services that provide respite
Community Aged Care Packages (CACP) and Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) packages are other community services that also may offer respite. These services are individually tailored packages of care that help older people with many different care needs to stay living at home by co-ordinating the different services they need. For more information about these services on the Central Coast, contact the Central Coast Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222.