Can home care package pay for respite?

If you have home care package funds available and need respite, you may be able to use these funds for respite care.

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    You may need to access respite if your main carer or family members are unwell or need to take a break from caring. Using home care package funds may mean a temporary suspension of your other care package services while you are accessing respite.

    This article outlines the guidelines for using home care package funds for respite and the conditions that must be met in order for the respite to be arranged.

    Home care package services

    A home care package in Australia provides a range of services and support to help you stay independent at home for as long as possible.

    If you receive a home care package through the Australian Government, you will likely be receiving home care services such as:
    • cleaning and domestic assistance
    • shopping support or transport
    • support to enjoy community and social activities
    • home maintenance and gardening
    • meal preparation
    • home modifications
    • nursing care and other allied health services

    Short term respite

    Respite care is not typically allocated as part of a home care package. The intent of the home care package is to help you to remain safe and comfortable at home. However, sometimes your situation may mean that you need some temporary care.

    This can happen when your usual carer or support person takes a break, needs to travel, go on holiday or is unwell. When your carer takes a break, you may be able to spend a short time in residential respite care to ensure you are properly looked after and supported.

    Types of respite

    There are several types of respite care, including in-home respite care, adult day care, and residential respite care.

    Respite care may be provided in your own house, meaning you stay at home rather than going to stay elsewhere. Day respite can be provided at local centres and facilities. In the case of residential respite care, you can have a short stay at an approved residential respite care facility or aged care home.

    Who pays for respite?

    In many cases, Government funding will provide a respite subsidy, but there may still be a basic daily fee a care recipient needs to pay.

    The amount you will be paying and contribute to the overall cost will be determined through an assessment. The contribution is an income tested care fee. You can read more about who pays for respite care in our recent blog.

    Do I have to pay for respite care at home?

    There will be a basic daily fee for all respite services, regardless of if your respite is at home or at a residential respite facility. The costs can be subsidised through your care package though you will still need to contribute towards the cost of your service.

    Respite care cost

    In some cases, the Australian Government may subsidise your respite costs through programs such as the Carer Gateway or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). The NDIS may also fund respite as a service for a person with a disability.

    Private respite care

    Private arrangements for respite can also be made and many facilities have private beds available, with fees, for people who need them. This is a great option for a person who does not have home care package funding.

    Temporary suspension of home care packages

    Respite is not typically provided through a Home Care package, however as outlined, this can be arranged if certain criteria are met. Home care funding can be used to pay for residential respite if you need it. This means your home care package is temporarily suspended and your package funds are used to cover respite fees.

    How to arrange residential respite care

    If you are in receipt of a Home Care Package and require respite, it is worth speaking to you home care package providers. They are best placed to help you consider if you meet the criteria for residential care respite and can take temporary leave from your home care package pay arrangements.

    If they are not designated to provide respite, your home care package providers may also be able to give you a list of approved respite providers in your local area.

    How to get a home care package

    In Australia, the Aged Care Assessment Team will make a determination about your eligibility for aged care and home care services. Home care packages are not for people who require high care or transition care.

    More information and the answers to common questions can be found on the main aged care website My Aged Care.

    Nursed Care respite services

    At Nursed Care, we can provide both short term residential respite support and in home respite care to people who are eligible for home care packages. We are an accredited home care provider.

    Our respite care and short term accommodation services are designed to cater to adults of all backgrounds, ages, and support needs, ensuring that everyone benefits from a memorable experience during their short stay.

    Short stay respite care

    The short term accommodation options are fully supervised by our dedicated staff 24/7 to provide any necessary assistance or support.

    Our respite accommodation options are designed with for the whole person, and we will help you feel part of our community when you stay with us. Our spaces are equipped with various safety and accessibility features and have spacious living areas, allowing you to enjoy a holiday with us.

    Frequently asked questions

    Our residential care facilities are well equipped for your stay, and we provide bedding and some equipment. You will need to bring some of your items from home as well.

    Use the following list to help you prepare and pack for your respite:

    • Several sets of clothes, suitable for the season
    • Medications or supplements you will need to take
    • Walking sticks, hearing aids or other personal equipment you need for specific care
    • A list of phone numbers of family, friends and medical professionals
    • Your mobile phone or laptop, if you have them
    • Books, magazines or puzzles you have been wanting to get to
    • Anything else to make you feel at home, such as photos

    You shouldn’t need any money but you may like to bring a small amount, just in case you would like to buy something. You do not need to pay for respite fees in cash.

    There are limits to the amount of respite care a person can access, especially when in receipt of a government Home Care Package. The upper limit would be 63 days per financial year, unless otherwise authorised by the Aged Care Team in your funding and package documents.

    Need qualified care?

    At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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    Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

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