Serious shortage of respite accommodation in aged care homes revealed

Carers Australia calls on the Government to increase subsidies for respite care in residential aged care facilities so that family and friend carers can take a break from caring when required. Other types of respite also need to be made more readily available, including cottage style accommodation for overnight and weekend breaks.

“We have conducted a national survey of organisations that help carers access respite services, which shows an increasing difficulty for carers to find respite care when they need a break from the demands of providing around the clock care, or even to deal with their own health or other family issues,” said Carers Australia CEO, Ara Cresswell.

Across Australia, 74% of respondents reported high or very high demand for emergency respite, while the level of high demand for pre-planned respite accommodation was 88%. Nearly seventy per cent reported that both emergency and pre-planned respite were difficult or very difficult to access. Despite undertaking often exhaustive efforts to identify respite opportunities, 35% of respondents said they were only able to find respite beds some of the time.

“Caring for the aged can be an exhausting, time-consuming, and emotionally wearing task – especially for those carers who are aged themselves,” said Ms Cresswell.
“For many the opportunity to take a break is vital to their ability to continue providing care at home. They will also need to find replacement care for the person they care for if they become ill themselves or have other demands which need attention and take them away from home.