Can a Home Care Package Pay for Respite and How Does It Work?

If you want to know if your Home Care Package budget covers respite care, you will find all the answers here. Keep reading to find out how respite care works.

Updated on Apr 18, 2024
5 min read

Some people receive support through Home Care Packages for a long period of time. 

Those responsible for Home Care Package recipients are called primary caregivers. These include the person's friends and family members.

As part of your Home Care Package, you are allowed to give your primary caregivers a break. This form of support is called respite care. 

Respite care allows the people who take care of you to take a short break. 

But how does this work exactly? Who funds respite care? Can a Home Care Package pay for respite care?

Keep reading to find out how respite care works. 

Can Your Home Care Package Pay for Respite Care?

Your Home Care Package covers many support services. One of them is respite care. 

Your Home Care Package isn't only meant to provide support to you. It also provides the necessary support to your friends and family.

This temporary form of care is designed to provide relief to primary caregivers. These people are responsible for those with special needs, disabilities, or medical conditions.

Primary caregivers may want to use respite care when they:

  • Want to take a temporary break from their caregiving responsibilities
  • Want to go on vacation
  • Have an appointment they can't miss
  • Are ill and need to take time off to recover
  • Need to take a break due to the emotional stress and mental strain
  • Can't make it because of an emergency

Respite care is one of the flexible care options that can be funded through a Home Care Package.

How Does Respite Care Work?

Respite care looks different for everyone. You can use respite care for a few hours, a few days, or even a longer period of time. 

Respite care can take various forms, including:

  1. In-home care provided by trained professionals or volunteers
  2. Short-term stays in specialised facilities (nursing homes or assisted living communities)
  3. Day programs that offer supervised activities for the care recipients

Another fact you should know about respite care is that it's usually planned in advance. 

When your primary caregiver wants to take a break or go on vacation, they have to let you know in advance. That being said, respite care can be used for emergencies as well. 

In-Home Respite Care

In the case of in-home respite care, a trained caregiver comes to your home to provide care.

If you want to receive respite care in your home, it can only be for a short period. You can either receive in-home respite care during the day or overnight. 

During this time, your replacement caregiver will provide you with all the support you need. This provides your primary caregiver with peace of mind, knowing their loved ones are in safe hands.

Out-Home Respite Care

You can also receive respite care outside of your home. This can take the form of:

  1. Centre-based respite
  2. Cottage respite
  3. Residential respite 

The first type of respite care outside of your home is centre-based respite. Just like in-home respite care, it takes place in the day, usually for a few hours. 

It can take place at a day centre, club, or any residential setting.

Cottage respite lasts longer. It's available at weekends or overnight. It can be in the same settings as centre-based respite, including community and aged care settings. 

Both of these types of out-home respite care can also be provided by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). 

Residential Respite 

Residential respite care is meant to be a short-term form of respite care. The person receiving care has to move to a nursing home or an assisted living facility for a short period of time. 

Keep in mind that residential respite works a little differently compared to other types of respite care. 

First of all, not everyone can access residential respite. You have to be eligible for it. There will be an assessment to determine your eligibility, except in the case of emergencies. 

During your stay at the aged care home, you will receive the same services as you would get at home. 

Note that you can't use residential respite care whenever you want. You can only use up to 63 days of subsidised care in one year. 

It may be possible to extend your stay by 21 days at a time, but your aged care assessor will need to approve this each time.

Can a Home Care Package Pay for Residential Respite?

After you are assessed for respite care eligibility, your provider will receive a subsidy based on this assessment.

That subsidy can be used to cover the cost of the following fees:

  • Residential respite fee
  • Basic daily fee
  • Booking fee
  • Additional services fee

It's hard to determine how much residential respite will cost you in total. It depends on the type of respite care you will receive and the duration of the care provided. 

In order to access residential respite care, your Home Care Package budget must have enough funds to cover these fees.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can only receive residential respite care at facilities that have private beds.

You may have to pay a basic daily fee and a booking fee. But you won't be required to pay a means-tested care fee. 

You and your provider will have to discuss how much funds will go out of your HCP budget to cover the cost of residential respite. 

Understanding Residential Care and Home Care Packages

If you feel like your caregivers need a break, you can use respite care to give them what they need. With your Home Care Package budget, you will be able to cover the cost of respite care. 

We recommend that you talk to your Home Care Package provider if you want to know more about how this process works. 

You can also talk to us if you are interested in receiving respite care through our Home Care Packages. We would be happy to answer any questions. 

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