What is Respite Care?

‘Respite’ or ‘respite care’ is when someone else takes care of the person you care for, so that you can have a break. A break can give you time to do everyday activities or just to relax, deal with stress and look after yourself.

When you are a carer, it’s important to regularly take time for yourself to rest and recharge.

Respite care can be given by family or friends or by a respite service. It can take place at home, in the community, at a centre or in a residential care facility.

Respite care can be:

  • for a short time (for example, for a few hours each week)
  • for a longer time, including overnight (for example, a weekend)

Services like My Aged Care or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may support respite care for the person you care for.

Some community organisations offer care for particular groups (for example, activities for children or cultural groups). They may also offer activities for the person you care for, such as social events or therapy sessions. This can give you time for yourself.

Some carer groups also offer activities for carers (for example, morning teas or yoga classes) to help you get a break.

You will need to talk to Connect Care Services to find out about the respite care that is available in your area and whether it will suit you.


Getting respite care in an emergency

You might be able to get emergency respite care at short notice if you suddenly find you can’t provide care, for example if you are ill or injured. If you need emergency respite care, talk with Connect Care Services as soon as possible.

It’s a good idea to make an emergency care plan, in case someone else needs to take over for you in an emergency.