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Government programs that support respite

The Australian Government provides special programs that support respite for carers. These include the National Respite for Carers Program and Consumer Directed Respite Care.

National Respite for Carers Program

The National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP) may be right for you if you are the primary carer of a person with dementia who cannot properly look after themself without your help.

The NRCP provides access to a variety of respite services which can take place in:

  • the home of the person you care for
  • a community centre
  • the home of a friend or family member
  • an aged care home.

It’s easy to apply for the NRCP. Call the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on 1800 052 222 and they can help you connect with organisations in your area that provide respite services.

The organisations that can provide respite services for you will conduct their own assessment of your situation to work out what’s best for you and the person you care for. It’s usually not too formal, unless the person you care for needs to have a short stay in an aged care home as part of their respite care.

To find out more, call the NRCP on 1800 052 222.

Consumer Directed Respite Care

If you would like a greater say in the type of respite care you access, then Consumer Directed Respite Care (CDRC) may be right for you. It gives you choices about:

  • the types of respite services you access
  • how they are delivered
  • when they are delivered
  • who delivers them to you.

Each CDRC package provides you with $4,200 to spend on respite care services over 12 months. The participating Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (Centre) administers CDRC packages, and they also hold the funds for you.

Each Centre will assess your particular needs and work with you to develop a plan for how, when and where to use respite care. They can also provide you with information about the services available in your local area and help you develop a budget to pay for them. The participating Centres then administer your budget for you by:

  • paying invoices
  • scheduling respite appointments with providers
  • sending you a monthly balance statement.

To find out more, visit Carer Gateway or call the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on 1800 052 222.

Last reviewed: June 2014

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