Why it’s Worth Knowing about Respite Care
Families want to do the best they can by providing help and support, but caring can be a full-time job.
It can be really difficult when a parent or loved one is no longer coping on their own. It can happen unexpectedly, a fall or a bout of bad health and suddenly your once able-bodied, independent parent is struggling with day-to-day living.
We hear many stories from daughters, sons and other family members who are struggling to balance caring for their families while also looking after mum or dad. Fortunately today there are a lot more options on the table which can help to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
Talk about Ageing
We encourage families to sit down to discuss ageing and what people’s wishes are while they are well. What would they like to happen in the event they can no longer manage on their own? Researching available options can help make it a productive, even positive discussion.
Often finances and money worries become the focus for these discussions, and while it is important, it should not be the defining topic. The government subsidises many forms of aged care services, and it’s often a relief for older people to learn that the trend today is to keep people in their own home for as long as possible. Services delivered to you at home are called Home Care and are much more cost-effective service than 24-hour Residential Aged Care.
All government subsidised services require an assessment to determine if you qualify. You will need to register with My Aged Care and complete an ACAT assessment to determine what level of support you may be entitled to. Getting set up on My Aged Care is a great starting point for anyone who is considering a little extra support to stay at home. It costs nothing to register and provides peace-of-mind knowing that should your loved one suddenly become unwell, or unable to manage alone – help can be co-ordinated fairly quickly as part of their Home Care package. It’s also possible to pay for services out of pocket, and for some self-funded retirees with a higher income – this can be a good option. We know the process of navigating myagedcare can be confusing, so we offer assistance to help you get set up.
Respite Care at Home
People are often mistaken believing that caring for someone at home precludes them from government assistance altogether. You may have your parent move in with you, and it’s important to know that Home Care services include respite for you as a carer. Or, perhaps one parent is caring for another in their home. Caring is a 24-hour job and can be hard going. With in-home respite the carer can get time out each week to enjoy a break, knowing their partner is well-cared for with the assistance of a Home Care helper.
Residential Respite Care
Another option is Residential Respite Care - which is a temporary stay in a Residential Aged Care home that gives the person and their carer a chance to relax and rejuvenate separately. Respite Care can be planned ahead of time, or used in emergency circumstances. Updated ACAT assessments can be obtained if there are significant health changes or if a lot of time has passed since the initial report. We have homes across NSW and the ACT that can help with Respite Care.
Learning to take advantage of the help that’s available is your first step in accessing the care that is right for you or a loved one.
Southern Cross Care offers both Respite options throughout NSW and the ACT, either in your home or one of ours. With more than 47 years of aged care experience, we know how important it is for an older person, their carers’ and families to have balance in their lives and time out when it’s needed. If you’d like to find out more about how to access services and what we can offer to call us on 1800 632 314 or contact us online.
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