Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Getting respite

What is respite?

Disability respite services provide families and unpaid carers of a person with disability with planned, short-term, time-limited breaks from their usual caring role. They are services that assume the caring role during the period of respite with the intention that families/carers resume care at the end of the respite period.

Respite services aim to provide a positive experience for both the carer and the person with disability.

There are several different types of respite services, either provided directly by us or by non-government organisations we fund to deliver these services. We are committed to improving the flexibility and quality of respite for people with disability, and their families.

Types of respite

Own home respite

This is provided in the home of the person with disability and can range from a few hours to a few days.

Host family respite

This type of respite is where the person with disability spends time in the home of a volunteer family who has been carefully matched with the interests and background of the individual and their family.

Peer support

People with disability are supported in leisure, recreational and group activities that are provided by or with people of similar age and with similar interests.

Flexible respite

This is provided in a range of settings and uses a mix of service types, including care in the home of the person with disability, with a host family and/or in community settings through day outings, camps, holidays, social or recreation activities.

After school and vacation care

Teen Time after school and vacation care aims to improve access to employment and/or vocational study opportunities for parents and carers of secondary school students with disability attending high school.

Respite camps

Respite camps for children, young people and adults provide opportunities for participation in social and recreational activities outside their normal day to day activities. The camps aim to give experiences that contribute to social independence, a sense of responsibility, team work and self reliance. Some camps are tailored for special needs including physical disability, intellectual disability and siblings.

ADHC and Sport and Recreation, a division of the NSW Department of Education and Communities, have entered into a partnership to provide the Respite Camps for Teens with a Disability program.

ADHC is also partnering with Muscular Dystrophy Association of NSW (MDANSW) to provide a respite camp and retreat program for children, young people and adults with degenerative neuromuscular disorders.

Centre-based respite

Centre-based respite is provided in a house in the community where the person with disability stays overnight or longer. Centre-based respite is not provided for children younger than seven years unless the child has complex health care needs.

Specialised centre-based respite

This is provided in a designated centre for children or adults whose primary disability is an intellectual disability and who have complex health care needs that require specialist care.

Emergency respite

Sometimes, unforeseen events such as an illness, hospitalisation or a death in the family can create an urgent need for respite.

Emergency and crisis short-term respite care may be available to help families and carers with unplanned or emergency situations.

Respite services cannot provide long-term accommodation.

Are you eligible for help?

Access to a respite service will depend on the needs of the person with disability and their carer, as well as the availability of respite services. Priority is given to people with the greatest need.

Getting a service

Contact your local ADHC Information, Referral and Intake (IRI) service for further information about getting a respite service.

Your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre can also help you arrange a break from caring.

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