Carers Program
Carers Program
Information for Staff who are Carers

Taking a Break (Respite) is Important

For all carers, making time for YOU is important to maintain your health and well-being. Carers often forget about their own needs when they are busy looking after someone else. Or they may feel guilty about handing over care even for a short time. However, many Carers find that regular respite can be good for both their physical and mental well-being and helps them provide better care because of the break they have had. It can be a chance to catch up with friends or other family members, do something else you like or just rest.

Respite can also have benefits for the person you look after - an opportunity to talk with someone else, have a change of scene if the respite takes them out of home, and may be the chance for them to feel they are helping you.

Arranging respite can be confusing. Many different services provide respite so finding these organisations and deciding on options can be complicated. Depending on where the person you care for lives, availability, costs and arrangements may vary. Each caring situation is unique and respite is now increasingly being planned flexibly to meet each person's need.

Caring for a person over 65 years, call My Aged Care1800 200 422

Caring for someone under 65 years, contact Commonwealth Respite Centres Call 1800 052 222 (9-5 pm) or for emergency respite, outside 9-5 pm call 1800 059 059.

Commonwealth Respite Centres operate in metropolitan, rural and remote areas. They provide advice on the different types of respite care available and can help you find and arrange care for the person you look after, while you take a break. These centres can also arrange emergency respite care. Respite Explained

There are two main types of respite, emergency respite and planned respite. Emergency Respite aims to meet the immediate short-term needs of Carers who can't continue their usual levels of care due to illness or crisis. Call the Commonwealth Respite Centre on 1800 052 222

Planned Respite is designed to be part of everyday life and become a regular activity for the Carer and the person for whom they care.

Planned Respite may involve:

  • In Home Respite: A trained worker comes into the home of the person who needs care to provide support;
  • Day or Centre-Based Respite: An older person, person with a disability or the Carer, can participate in programs outside the home that are designed to improve the well-being of the person being cared for and the Carer.
  • Residential Respite: Planned time away that gives both the Carer and the person cared for a break away from their homes and usual routines. This respite needs an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessment.
  • Carer Retreats: Planned time away for the Carer, with organised activities and rest.