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Residential respite care offers relief for carers who are caring for someone who still lives in their own home. It is designed to give carers a break if they are unwell, have other commitments, need a holiday or just need some time for themselves.
Residential respite care involves a short stay in an aged care home and can happen on a planned or emergency basis.
If you need emergency residential respite care you should call your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30am–5.00pm) or 1800 059 059 outside business hours.
In non-emergency situations you first need to see an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), which is called an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria, to confirm whether the person you care for is eligible to receive residential respite care and discuss the care that they need.
If the person you care for is approved for residential respite care, it is available for up to 63 days each financial year, although this can be extended in 21 day blocks if the assessment confirms that extra time is necessary.
If you receive residential respite care through an approved aged care home, you will be asked to pay a basic daily fee.
The maximum basic daily fee is set at 85% of the single basic Age Pension. From 20 March 2015 to 19 September 2015, the single rate of the basic Age Pension is $782.19 per fortnight. 85% of this amount is $664.86 per fortnight or $47.49 per day.
You may also be asked to pay a booking fee, but this is a prepayment of the residential respite care fees and not an extra payment. The booking fee cannot be more than the lesser of a full week's basic daily fee and 25% of the fee for the entire stay.
There are no income-tested fees for residential respite care.
What you actually pay will be discussed and agreed by you and the service provider before the services are provided.
Please see the following pages of this Aged Care Guide for further information: