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interests and wellbeing assessed, supported, discussed
• Can continuity be ensured, in the sense of providing the
same staff member each time?
• How does the service provider respond to the changes that
might occur as the disease progresses?
Government funding is available for many different types
of respite service to support people with dementia and
their carers. However, access to respite has recently been
reframed, and some aspects now depend on the age of the
person with dementia.
For people living with dementia over the age of 65,
respite can be accessed through My Aged Care by calling
1800 200 422 or visiting myagedcare.gov.au.
Meanwhile, the National Disability Insurance Scheme
(NDIS) provides funding for services for people living with
dementia under the age of 65. However, this doesn’t focus
on services for the carer, but rather the person with the
diagnosis. For more information, contact 1800 800 110 or
It is important to remember that not all forms of respite
are available everywhere. Carers and people with dementia
should seek advice from the bodies described above on what
services are available and applicable in their own areas.
To find out more about what kinds of respite are available
to you, a good place to start is the National Dementia
Helpline, which can be contacted on 1800 100 500. Trained
professionals are on-hand to assess your situation and point
you in the right direction based on your needs and eligibility.
Another important source of advice includes the Carer
Gateway, which can be contacted on 1800 422 737 or at
For more information on respite, check out our recently
launched Respite Help Sheet at: bit.ly/RespiteHelpSheet
MAKING THE CASE FOR RESPITE CARE
Through the support of the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia
Research Foundation and Resthaven Inc., researchers from
the University of Wollongong (UOW) have developed a
project to support carers and people living with dementia
to navigate the service system and understand how respite
could be beneficial in helping achieve their personal goals.
ReThink Respite commenced as a community-based
research program during 2015 -2016 in the Illawarra-
Shoalhaven region of NSW. The project included local media,
group education sessions and a free 10 -week, face -to -face
coaching program to promote respite as an essential part of
Dr Lyn Phillipson, Creator of ReThink Respite and
Researcher at UOW Australian Health Services Research
Institute, said the focus of the project was on gaining further
knowledge and a different perspective on the potential
benefits of respite service and strategies.
“Caring for a person with dementia can be a positive
experience. However, the challenges can cause feelings of
exhaustion and frustration, with many carers feeling too guilty
to ask for support. For many, navigating the service system is
another task they don’t have the energy for,” she says.
“ W ith regards to ReThink Respite, we received positive
feedback about the entire project. However, it was with the
carers who undertook the face -to-face training who seemed
to benefit the most. We found this coaching provided an
effective way to assist carers not only to feel more confident
about using respite, but also to find and use a greater diversity
of services and strategies.”
This year, the ReThink Respite project has expanded to
provide a national online education program named Rethink
For more information about the online program or to enrol,
contact Dr Liz Cridland on email@example.com or
(02) 4221 4226.
To find out more about respite and available services
and strategies, visit the ReThink Respite website at:
Two new resources
aimed at improving the
delivery of respite services
for people living with
dementia are now available.
Created by Alzheimer’s Australia in partnership with
the University of Wollongong and Carers Australia,
the resources aim to promote best-practice strategies
for respite service providers, and to help people with
dementia and their carers navigate the system.
“T hese resources are essential to ensure
that best practice in respite is being delivered
in the care and support of people with
dementia and their carers,” says Alzheimer’s
Australia National CEO Maree McCabe.
“As both the aged- care and disability sectors move
to consumer-directed and individualised funding
models, it is vital that respite services ensure they
are flexible and responsive to the needs of people
living with dementia, their families and carers.”
The resources were developed as part of the
Making Flexible Respite Care a Practical Reality
project, which is supported by the Australian
Government through the Aged Care Service
Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund.
The new resources are available at:
25/5/17 2:48 pm
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