Renae Diggles

August 28, 2023

Accessing Respite Care – Short Term Care for Seniors

Renae Diggles

August 28, 2023

Accessing Respite Care when you require short term care on a planned or emergency basis, to give carers and care recipients a break from their schedules.
elderly woman sitting

What is Respite Care?

It is short-term care, on a planned or emergency basis.  The purpose is to give carers or care recipients a break from their typical schedules.

How do I Access Respite Care?

To access formal respite care, contact My Aged Care to discuss an assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

Can I Access Respite Care in the Case of an Emergency?

When there is a need for emergency respite care, you can call the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 at any time.

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for respite care, usually an assessment will be needed to determine your eligibility for respite care.

In order to determine your eligibility for respite care (in an aged care home) you will need to be assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). You can arrange this by contacting My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. For further information go to

elderly hands typing on keyboard

The Assessment Process

1. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to arrange an assessment

Either a local assessor from a Regional Assessment Service or the Aged Care Assessment Team will contact you to arrange an appointment. For the assessment, you might like to have your Medicare card, any referrals from your G.P., & your G.P. contact details.

It is always a good idea to have a family member or friend to support you during your assessment, and you can give the assessor permission to talk with your support people. Be sure to have a list of items/ issues that you would like to discuss during your assessment.

2. Receive letter of approval for respite care

If you have an ACAT assessment, and the assessment determines that you are eligible for support services including respite care, then you will receive a letter of approval from ACAT. Sometimes there is a waiting period. It is important that if you have any concerns about the waiting time, that you discuss this with the assessor at the time of your meeting.

If you disagree with your ACAT assessment, you can write to the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Health within 28 days, outlining your concerns regarding the outcome of your assessment letter.

How Much Will It Cost

Accessing respite care will have costs involved. These costs might be subsidised through the Commonwealth government. You can find out the costs involved to access respite care by contacting the organisation/ provider that will be delivering the care.

For more information about respite care and associated costs, go to or phone 1800 200 422.

calculator, money, hospital beds

Find A Service Provider

If your circumstances are not an emergency situation then you will be able to explore the service providers that best meet your needs. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit their website at

You can contact service providers directly if you are seeking community based respite care, or non-residential respite care. Once you have received approval, get into contact with My Aged Care, in order to access residential respite care services.

You can access more information on aged care support services in Australia here!

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