Over the holiday period, some families may need to go away and leave an elderly person behind, or a carer may need to take a break. The options are either to get respite care at home or at a facility.

Respite residential aged care is a good way to ensure that an elderly person gets the care they need while their family is away. It also presents an opportunity to trial longer term aged care, so it’s important, even if you’re using it for a short period, to put the effort in to ensure the facility will be able to meet your family member’s care needs long-term.

It should not be viewed as a quick fix – if your family member has a bad experience, it may put them off the idea of entering care long-term. Make sure you talk to the facility about your family member’s routine, likes and dislikes, preferred food, hobbies and interests – that way, even with short-term care they will be looked after well.

It is also important to consider that changes can be difficult for people with cognitive difficulties, so you should only put your family member into respite care if you feel they will be able to cope with these changes. Respite residential aged care can work well as a way to slowly transition someone into full-time care by introducing them to a new routine.

If you have government approval, you are entitled to 63 days of respite aged care per year. Most facilities offer short-term stays of two to four weeks, depending on availability, but you must ensure that you work with the facility’s requirements. Some facilities keep specific rooms free for respite aged care so you can book ahead, while others will only agree based on availability at the time.

It is also worth considering that respite fees are different to permanent fees – respite care comes at a daily fee, while there are more charges associated with permanent care.

Respite care at home can be arranged privately or with your current home care provider. Respite home care can be paid for if you have unspent funds in your home care package budget.

Whatever your choice, there are options available for you and your loved ones this holiday season. Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe break.

If you require aged care coordination please, get in touch with My Care Path today!