Published On: November 3rd, 2021|Categories: Community, Support Coordination|Tags: |

Understanding Respite Care

Let’s start with what exactly is respite care within the NDIS space?

The NDIS defines respite as funding for support and accommodation for a short time away from your usual home (there is no longer a NDIS support called ‘respite’) in facility-based respite.

This is where you can access overnight respite and stay in something called short term accommodation – this is formally known in your NDIS plan as Short-Term Accommodation Assistance (STAA). The benefit of this is that you will be able to have a change in your environment, able to take a break from your day to day set routines and allows your informal supports to take a well-deserved rest.

It covers the cost of your care in another place for up to 14 days at a time. It’s often funded, for a participant, when your carers are unavailable, or for you to try new things.

Respite benefits participants, such as children or adults with disability, people with mental illness or dementia, or those who are older in age. It gives you an opportunity to meet new people, do new activities and have fun. It can be very helpful for carers and support workers as well, as someone else assumes responsibility of caring for an individual they typically look after, allowing you the opportunity to take a well-deserved break.

What does respite care involve?

Respite care can be given by family, friends (informal), or by a respite service. It can take place at home, in the community, at a centre, or in a residential care facility. The NDIS can cover respite care so long as it’s part of your plan. Respite care can be offered by community organisations for particular groups, such as activities for children in a public setting like a park or a play centre.

Respite care covers all basic expenses in a 24-hour period related to providing the service including:

  • Short-term accommodation in a facility (STAA) 
  • Overnight support 
  • Food and drink 
  • Self-care assistance  
  • Community access activities  
  • Negotiated/planned activities 

When can I access respite care?

Respite care can be accessed when scheduled as part of your care plan. For a carer or support worker, they will need to schedule respite care for the person they care for, so that they can take a break when they need it. Respite care can also be accessed in cases of emergency, if the carer or support worker is sick, injured, or cannot provide care for any other reason.

What are the types of respite care?

There are many different types of respite care, and it can come informally from family or friends, or professionally by disability services. The type you choose depends on your specific situation and the services available in your area.

There are a range of supports which ensure that people with disability and their carers can have independence and time for themselves. Supports associated with goals which assist NDIS participant capacity building, also give carers a break.

Some examples include assistance to access community, social and recreational activities, in-home support to develop independent living skills, active overnight assistance at home, holiday programs, improving access to education and assistance in accessing work.

Some more detail about these types of respite care include:

  • In-home respite: this means the person who provides respite care comes to you, and this can be accessed during the day or night.
  • Centre-based respite: this usually takes place at a day center, offering activities and outings for participants receiving care, and gives them a chance to socialize with others in a safe environment, meanwhile their carers can take a break.
  • Overnight or weekend respite: this can be offered at home or in an offsite house.
  • Residential respite: if a participant requires care every day, residential respite may be the best way to go. This involves a short stay in a care home, while the carer can take a break for a few days or more. This can also be accessed in cases of emergency.
  • Transition care: this is for people who have been in hospital and are set to be discharged, but who still need more help than usual. This is often short-term and can include particular therapies such as physiotherapy, podiatry, and occupational therapy.

Do I stay by myself or are there supports available?

Depending on the participants level of care required, the respite care provider can organise support workers to assist you. Some respite providers also provide group activities to help you build your capacity. Things such as fitness, day trip activities, therapy, art and much more.

Who can I contact to get this option as part of my plan?

If you are the participant or an informal support/family of a participant, please contact your support coordinator LAC at your next plan review meeting. If you do not have a support coordinator, we work with a range of quality providers who may be able to assist.

Where can I find respite care?

There are many directories online that list NDIS providers who offer respite care. Alternatively, speaking to your support coordinator or LAC is the easiest way to access respite care. We at Help at Hand Support are here to help you find the services you need, and can connect you with respite care providers, and help include it in your plan.

When it comes to choosing and accessing respite care, it is important to speak to your support coordinator or LAC and schedule a plan review meeting. There you can discuss what you, as a carer or participant, need and when you need it. Contact us at Help at Hand Support and find out how we can help!

Last Updated: January 31st, 2024|

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