Lifestyle

RESPITE CARE: FROM ONE FAMILY TO ANOTHER

Urban Aussie families are largely joint families that consist of generations living together. Inevitably, catering to so many people becomes a familial duty for the head of the family. Given the fast pace in which the modern world is moving, 24×7 care might be a difficult task without adequate help.

In most families, the primary caregiver is the mother. Primary caregivers are so called as they cater to the needs of every family member. Australia is an example of an ageing pyramid that consists of roughly 3 million elders as of 2020. To cater to their needs, some centres provide respite care in Canberra, Greenways, among others.

What is respite care?

Respite care is usually hospice care for the elderly population. The main goal of respite care is to provide short-term relief to the primary caregivers. Care is provided for short periods, from two weeks to a month. Respite care is provided either in homes, hospice care centres, or retirement homes. With the Australian demography shifting towards an older population, the recent past has seen an increased demand for respite care services.

The main goal of respite care is to act as a pillar of support to the primary caregivers of the elderly when they need a breather. In some cases, respite care is a trial run by people who plan to settle for permanent living options in respite care communities.

There are several respite care centres in and around Australia. Respite care in Canberra, Moonee Ponds, and South Australia.

Who needs respite care?

Not all elderly need respite care. If the elderly adult has an illness or disability like cancer, blindness, Alzheimer’s, among others that require 24×7 support, they are the ones that need respite care. Sometimes, caregivers utilise respite care services even when the elders do not have severe morbidities. In such cases, it is so that they could take a break.

Usually, these respite care schemes are sanctioned by the government. This means that certain guidelines must be fulfilled before the centres admit the elderly to avail of the services. A 63-day cap on respite care can be extended with an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) report.

However, many centres offering respite care in Canberra and Greenways do not require an ACAT. Rather, they conduct a personalised care assessment to understand the elderly’s requirements and cater to them accordingly.

Why respite care?

  • Rest is a necessity for everyone, even primary caregivers. A day to shop or unwind is their gift attained through respite services.
  • A dedicated team of caregivers will be there to assist the family member at every step of the way and provide tailored assistance as required.
  • Although respite care is largely funded by the government, there are privately funded hospice care centres. The advantage of privately funded homes is that they do not have a fixed number of care days that a client is entitled to. Furthermore, most privately funded homes function without an ACAT assessment.
  • The schedule of care is up to the client’s convenience. It could be a few hours of the day or a few weeks. However, some respite care centres do have a minimum period of stay. Typically, this will be a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of 6 weeks.
  • Since respite care is for a short term, they are affordable. Furthermore, most of these institutions offer a clear quote of the costs. In any event the fees are too much, many respite care centres offer funding and other payment options that can be utilised to make ends meet.

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