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Respite Care - Fact Sheet

Information Services


Respite Care - Fact Sheet

Long term carers find that surviving is a matter of taking time out for themselves. Part of this may just be taking time for a cuppa during each day, but often longer breaks are needed.

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 variety of out of home settings. Since not all families have the same needs, respite care is usually flexible to fit in with a family's requirements.



Someone else takes over responsibility for the person you care for. It might be for a few hours, a day or longer. This may free some time for an exercise class, attend a wedding, weekly shopping or to go on holidays.


There are three main types of respite care:

  • In home
  • Day centres
  • Residential (nursing homes, hostels or regional hospitals).


Any carer can ask for respite. You don't have to be a full time carer. For example if your main duties are cooking then respite care can be organised for that.


Standard fees are charged for residential respite in a nursing home or hostel. Some services may be free, others a token fee while others may be expensive. Some services will have a sliding scale that is dependent on your income.


Most people who use respite do so regularly- often once or twice a week. They may also have a regular pattern of holiday respite set up for annual holidays. While respite is vital for people under a stressful situation, the ideal is to organise respite before your situation becomes difficult. Regular breaks are a central part of any stress management.



Respite is a vital part of maintaining your health and sanity. Use the following checklist to see if are doing what you need to look after yourself:

  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Take time for yourself
  • Exercise, eat well and rest
  • Relax regularly
  • Keep up social contacts
  • Attend a carers group for support
  • Access and use available services
  • Acknowledge and deal with feelings.

References and further information

For more information, advice, and referral, contact the Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre on 1800 059 059, or Carers Queensland Information & Support Line on 1800 242 636



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