How Does Respite/ Short Term Care Work?

Short-term care provides care and support services for a set period of time. There are different types of short-term care depending on your needs. All aim to help you with day-to-day tasks and either restore or maintain your independence. Depending on the type of short-term care you access, help can be provided for a few days to a few months at a time. It is important to note that access to funding for these services are based on eligibility. You can find out your eligibility here

Short term restorative care:

Short-term restorative care is designed to help you reverse or slow the difficulties you are having with everyday tasks. 


You may be eligible for short-term restorative care if you are an older person and you:

  • are slowing down mentally, physically, or both
  • need help with everyday tasks, and
  • want to stay independent and out of long-term ongoing arrangements.

Transition care

Transition care helps you recover after a hospital stay. It provides short-term specialised care and support to help you regain your functional independence and confidence sooner, and avoid the need for longer term care and support services. 


You may be eligible if:

  • are a patient in a public or private hospital
  • have been informed that you are ready to leave hospital, and
  • would benefit from short-term help.

Respite care

Respite care is a short-term care service that is designed to provide support and assistance to the elderly and their caregivers. It is intended to give both parties a break from their usual care arrangements and help them to do things independently. The service can be accessed for a few hours, a few days, or longer, depending on the needs and eligibility of the elderly individual and the services available in the area.

Respite care can be provided in various settings. Depending on the needs of the elderly individual and the services available in their area, the service can be accessed in their home, out in the community, or in an aged care home. The care can also be planned in advance or made available in emergencies.


To access respite care, an elderly person must have a caregiver who is unable to provide care for one reason or another. It could be due to the caregiver’s personal circumstances, such as having to attend an appointment or planning a trip. Alternatively, the elderly person or their caregiver might need a break from their usual care arrangements.

The Cost

Like all types of care, there is a cost to it and if eligible, funding will apply. In majority of cases, respite isn’t means tested for eligible people. You can view the latest funding figures here. It is worth noting that similar to aged care facilities, “extra” services do not recieve funding- such as respite room upgrades, activities etc.

At Aged Care Specialists Vic, we understand the aged care process can be confusing and overwhelming. We are here to help – so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if we can help you navigate the system.

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