To address the range of disincentives for providers to offer respite care in their facilities, and to improve flexibility of respite options for carers and people with care needs, Carers Australia believes that a combination of measures will be needed to make respite more readily available.
The measures should include:
- requirements for residential care providers to offer some respite care, including through minimum allocations by large facilities
- incentives to support respite care offerings, including changes to the subsidy model so that residential care facilities offering respite care are not disadvantaged
- cottage style and/or other short term residential respite to both alleviate the pressure on residential respite places and, more importantly, give carers and consumers some choice in the types of accommodation that best suits their needs, the length of stay that is needed and an option for care in their local community, particularly in rural, regional and remote locations
- developing host family respite, particularly in CALD communities and in rural, regional and remote locations
- enhancement of home care through CHSP, including through a package to support consumers with high care needs, as recommended in the Legislated Review of Aged Care 20176
- a real time respite booking scheme enabling CRCCs, CHSP providers and other brokers to more easily identify and book respite care, and
- measures to improve awareness of the hardship provisions for carers who cannot afford the co-contribution for residential respite.