Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Assessment for respite

2-minute read

You may need an assessment to receive some types of respite care. Assessments are a way of working out how much help you need and the types of services you are eligible to receive. It’s all about what’s best for you and your situation.

For most types of respite care, you just contact an organisation in your local area that provides the relevant services, and talk to them about the help you need. They might conduct their own assessment of your situation so they can work out what’s best for you and the person you care for.

If you need any type of government-funded services or residential respite care (a short stay in an aged-care home), then you will need an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria) assessment.

You first need to register with My Aged Care. To register, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 with your Medicare card ready. You can also talk to your doctor who can refer you to an ACAT for a free assessment.

You and the person you care for will then need to meet with the ACAT person, who will usually be a doctor, nurse, social worker or other health care professional. The person from the ACAT will usually make an appointment to visit you and the person you care for at your home.

The assessment will mostly involve talking to the ACAT person about the type of help you need, and they can give you information about the services that may be available in your local area. They may also ask your permission to talk to the doctor who looks after the person being cared for.

Once the assessment is finished, you will receive a letter to let you know:

  • if you have been approved as eligible to receive government services
  • what type of services you are eligible for and approved to receive, and why

You can appeal the ACAT decision if you are not happy with your assessment outcome.

For more information, call your local Carer Gateway service provider on 1800 422 737 for help to find respite care services that meet your needs.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: April 2020


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Respite Care

For more information about respite care.

Read more on Queensland Health website

Respite care - NT.GOV.AU

Respite care services for Central Australia and the Top End.

Read more on NT Health website

Understanding Respite Care - Fact Sheet - Carers Queensland

Understanding Respite Care – Fact Sheet Mar 09 2018 Categories: Factsheet Caring can be rewarding as well as being physically and emotionally demanding

Read more on Carers QLD website

Using respite care | Dementia Australia

Respite care enables families and carers to have a rest, go out, attend to business or go on a holiday. Many people find that a regular break means that they can recharge and avoid burn out. It also gives a person with dementia an opportunity to socialise and meet other people. The Government funds many different types of respite to help families and carers. If you want to know more about what respite is available in your area there are a number of organisations that can help you.

Read more on Dementia Australia website

Health subsidies and support - NT.GOV.AU

Aged care services, patient travel assistance, respite care.

Read more on NT Health website

Carers NSW - About respite

Respite care (also known as ‘short-term care’) is a form of support for you and the person you care for

Read more on Carers NSW website

Respite for Carers - Synapse

Respite care is an essential part of the overall support that families may need. It can be provided in the client's home or in a out of home setting.

Read more on Synapse - Australia's Brain Injury Organisation website

Respite: children with additional needs | Raising Children Network

Respite care is when someone looks after your child with additional needs for a while. It’s good for you and your child. Read about your respite options.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Taking care of yourself | Dementia Australia

Taking a break Taking a break from caring, often called respite or respite care, is important for anyone providing day to day care for someone with dementia. Your feelings Caring for someone with dementia can be very rewarding. It can also be difficult, exhausting, lonely, and at times, overwhelming.

Read more on Dementia Australia website

For carers | Continence Foundation of Australia

It's not always easy caring for someone with incontinence, but the right advice and support can make it more manageable.

Read more on Continence Foundation of Australia website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo