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Respite care for people with younger onset dementia

2 min read

Everyone, including the main carer, needs to have time out to make sure they don’t burn out. One option to explore as early as possible is respite care.

Family members of people with younger onset dementia may find themselves caring for a person with dementia, for dependent children and even for ageing parents all at the same time. They might also be working full time.

Respite care allows carers to cope, and can help the person with dementia stay living independently for longer. Respite care can be given:

  • in the person’s home
  • in a day centre
  • in a community respite cottage for overnight or weekend care
  • in a residential aged care home
  • as emergency respite.

The Commonwealth Government funds many types of respite care. To find out about respite options - including emergency respite care - call a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 during business hours (or 1800 059 059 outside business hours). Information is also available from the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500, or from Carers Australia on 1800 242 636.

Because the person with dementia is not aged, it is important to find someone prepared to listen who is able to find options other than aged care facilities.

The doctor who cares for the person with dementia may develop a Health Care Plan that can help with the cost of specialised services such as physiotherapy. A doctor might also arrange for an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). Although the person with dementia is not aged, this type of assessment is sometimes used to access a range of health services that can help the person with dementia and their carer.

Talk to your doctor or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 to find out about care plans and assessments.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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