Calls for government to offer carers better support options

Carers Australia calls for subsidy increase for respite care in aged care facilities.

Calls for more support for carers

Carers Australia has called on the Government to increase subsidies for respite care in residential aged care facilities so that family and friends can take a break from caring when required.

The peak national body released its report into access to respite care compiled from a survey of 112 Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs).

The report found that carers were finding it increasingly difficult to access respite care when they needed a break from the demands of providing around-the-clock help.

“Daily subsidies paid to residential aged care providers by the Government are much higher for permanent residents and for residents convalescing after an illness or operation than for respite care, so there is a disincentive to make short-term stays available for respite care,” said Carers Australia Chief Executive Ara Cresswell.

“The difference is even sharper for people with high-care needs, including people with advanced dementia.

“As well as higher subsidies to encourage aged care providers to offer respite, our research indicates a high, unfulfilled demand for overnight and weekend respite, particularly in cottage-style accommodation.

“Cottage-style respite is ideal because it offers home?like surroundings and can feel more like a holiday for the person with care needs,” said Ms Cresswell.

Across Australia, 74 per cent of respondents reported high or very high demand for emergency respite, while the level of high demand for pre-planned respite accommodation was 88 per cent.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents 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 per cent 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.

“If a carer needs to be away for more than a night or two, respite accommodation for those they care for in an aged residential care facility is often their only option.

View the Carers Australia report.

What do you think? Should the Government increase subsidies for respite care to ease the burden on carers?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    6th Feb 2018
    respite care in home care, transport help when carers get sick. if we aren't disabled and we aren't workers and we aren't pensioners then what are we ??
    6th Feb 2018
    You should be eligible for some respite care at times. Letting go of the situation is hard though and also ensuring the disabled will allow you some respite. Often disabled or aged loved ones become very selfish.

    I can't understand how you miss out on the help others I know get with respite stays in nursing homes and transport help. Even meals on wheels etc. Home nursing help should be available as well as home cleaning services etc.
    6th Feb 2018
    Selfish .. indeed, Rae. Always demanding and with a (wait for it) sense of (buzzword coming) Entitlement!

    Age of entitlement is not over for everyone but those who are prepared to shoulder the burdens.... them's called suckers...

    Pensioner carer (pensioner who is a carer as well) should receive double pension to cover the costs and it would still cost less than full-time care .. but it would pay for the petrol and the car repairs.....
    6th Feb 2018
    The government should be more supportive. The cost of care without carers would be very high and carers deserve a break.
    6th Feb 2018
    Come on people this gov. do not give a shit about anybody ...... you are saying that the gov. should be supportive ???? ....UR Bloody dreaming .....We are Old, Sick, we have a pension system that soon will disappear and the money use to increase their salaries ..... A BIG JOKE
    6th Feb 2018
    " this gov. do not give a shit about anybody"

    Yes they do: themselves and their rich mates.
    6th Feb 2018
    Knows-a-lot .... well a lot of people vote for them ... so next time no votes for them ...but we never learn the lessons just go back in time and research the mess the Libs have mave over the years .....well the Labour also has made a mess but they look more into the people than the Libs so I will prefer to vote Labour ....

    No matter where we look we are totally stuffed ..
    6th Feb 2018
    The Japanese are creating robots to do the caring so all the carers will be able to work again. It will make life easier financially. The report lists 80% of aged Japanese will be cared for by robots after 2020. Not long to wait.
    6th Feb 2018
    Sounds like Dystopia to me.

    6th Feb 2018
    The home-Care package industry needs a lot more government support too: more, and better paid, staff - with better training.

    6th Feb 2018
    Aye, first class bluidy gu'ment give me 127 dollar one fortnight to be full time carer!! Couldn't be more grateful.... be glad for everything we get while our betters get the best pension scheme and salary package for being politicians.....

    We shouldn't complain!

    (drags tongue out of cheek - damn - so firmly stuck there it's ...... stuck!)....
    7th Feb 2018
    Yes and parents get $10 000 subsidy for childcare. Go figure.

    There should be subsidised care so people can work if they have severely disabled family that cannot be left unsupported.

    Nobody should be denied the right to work and earn a decent income through having disabled family.
    6th Feb 2018
    Being eligible for respite, and actually accessing it, were not the same when I was a full time carer for my terminally partner. On the one occasion I needed emergency care I was told it would take a couple of weeks to organise.....hardly emergency when I needed to go to hospital immediately. My partner refused to go to respite care himself, so I had to go somewhere to get a break. So had to arrange for someone to monitor him at home. I only did this a couple of times, as the mess I found when I got home made my break redundant! There needs to be more funding for carers. If all the carees.were to be put in institutions, it would cost a fortune. Carers save the taxpayers of this country millions.
    6th Feb 2018
    I have been a carer for my husband who has prostrate cancer which has spread to the bone for the past 15yrs, I am constantly on call at all times for him , haven't had a break in all that time , besides our aged pension I get $127 per fortnight for this .my life for these past yrs has been a constant job of driving to doctors , X-Ray's bone scans , CT scans blood tests and any other needs he has .
    Aside from the fact that I have stage 4 osteoporosis which I just suffer in silence because nobody cares about what ails me, I guess it's because its because mine isn't life threatening, even though I have been told I could break bones just by sneezing
    Anyhow I suppose us aged pensioners and carers just have to accept what the government deems fair for us when they are given huge pay rises even though most of them are millionaires already.
    7th Feb 2018
    I am with you Suzie ... It is so unfortunately that we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world with nice people with totally useless government that only care for there own friends and do very little for the people .... I call them a well paid seat warmers .....

    This days I am comparing Australia with other undeveloped countries where older people suffers a lot like South American and Asian countries where there is no pension for the old people and the families take care of the old

    In Australia a Rich country with all the necessary facilities and support we old people suffers in all different ways some like you other financially other for loneliness and other normal sickness for older people but when we need support the support is not there when we need it ..... Yes I am with you

    USA have a great social security that never change or create stress to their pensioners on the contrary they create an environment of security to ensure they are happy during their retirement ..... but is not an example for our politicians they do not give a shit about us ........ sorry but is the true ..... now the home is going to be part of the asset test .... and more and more ... until there is no pension at all .....

    What they want is for us after 70 years old to just DIE that way they save money ........

    I am with you ... take care and try to have small breaks ... go to a coffee shop read a magazine there .... go out by yourself for small times to break the stress ......

    Hope all goes good for you
    7th Feb 2018
    Aussie, the sad part is that it is dangerous to leave some very ill people at home alone at all. You have to apply to have somebody visit and take care of the patient while you are out. I don't know about the situation now, but there was a waiting list just for that at one stage. I know of one case where a family member took time of work once a fortnight so the carer went out and did the shopping and met up with friends for a quick lunch or coffee. This was prior to on-line grocery shopping...and was his only outing anyway.
    8th Feb 2018
    YES Blossom ... this is the reality of our country .... In Asian, Latin American and other european countries the family looks after the old ones with pleasure and love .... in Australia the family dump us into a retirement home or some other place and we get abused and our efficient governments do absolutely nothing for us only take the little things we have left like our pension .... bit and bit until disappear .... is the heritage culture we have got in our country.

    But do not worry just read the comments I am going to get after all I am writing .. something like ...if you do not like it here get out he he he and more and more he he he he