Can a Home Care Package Pay for Residential Respite?

Your HCP funds can be used to cover many home care services, but can a Home Care Package pay for residential respite? Read this article to find out.

Haisey Home Care
April 2, 2024
x min read
Can a Home Care Package Pay for Residential Respite?


As part of your Home Care Package, you are entitled to respite care. 

Respite care offers temporary support and relief for primary carers. They can take a break from their caregiving duties, knowing their loved ones continue to receive the care and support they need. 

Respite care can be provided in various settings. This includes in-home care, community-based facilities, and residential aged care facilities.

In-home care and residential care are two popular options for elderly Australians. But the question is - can a Home Care Package pay for residential respite?

This article will give you all the answers, so keep reading. 

What Is Residential Respite Care?

Respite care provides temporary relief for primary caregivers. 

In some cases, elderly Australians might need to move to an aged care home where they will receive temporary care. This is also known as residential respite care.

The elderly person can move to a nursing home or a residential care facility for a short period of time. It can be a few days or even a few weeks, depending on the situation. 

During their stay in a residential care facility, the individual can receive:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Personal care
  • Companionship care
  • Medication management
  • Social activities
  • Any necessary support services

They receive the same type of care as the other permanent residents of the facility. 

Residential respite care is particularly beneficial for caregivers who may need time off. This can be due to an illness, personal commitments, or simply to prevent burnout.

It provides them with peace of mind. They know that their loved ones are being cared for in a safe and supportive environment while they take a temporary break.

Can a Home Care Package Pay for Residential Respite Care?

If you are thinking of using residential respite, you might be wondering if it will be covered by your HCP budget

The good news is that you may use your Home Care Package funds to pay for residential respite care

You may be able to access residential respite care through arrangements made by your care provider or through other means. This involves coordinating with the care provider to arrange for respite care in a residential setting. 

To do this, you have to meet these two criteria:

  1. You need to have enough funds in your package to cover the cost of the care.
  2. You can only use funds to pay for respite at available facilities with private beds.

The Australian Government also funds a respite subsidy and a supplement to suppliers for your respite care cost.

If you are planning respite, there are different types available. It's a good idea to speak to your Home Care Package provider to find the best one.

Whether or not your HCP budget will cover the costs may vary depending on the specific circumstances and regulations in your location.

What Happens to Your Home Care Package When You're Using Residential Respite Care?

If a residential care home assumes responsibility for your care, your Home Care Package will be temporarily suspended.

The funding associated with your package may be redirected to cover the costs of the respite care stay. 

This means that while you're in residential respite care, the services and support typically provided through your Home Care Package, such as in-home care services, will be put on hold.

After you complete your residential respite care stay and return home, your Home Care Package services will typically resume as usual. 

The remaining funding in your package will continue to be available for you to use for the approved services and support outlined in your care plan.

Fees Associated With Residential Respite Care

You will still be responsible for paying some fees while your Home Care Package is temporarily suspended. 

This refers to the income-tested fee.

Even if your Home Care Package is suspended for respite, you still need to pay your normal income-tested fee.

These are the rules for paying your income-tested fee in this situation:

  1. If your leave is shorter than 28 days, you will pay the fee, regardless of whether you use the services.
  2. For leave longer than 28 days, you pay the full fee for the first 28 days, then 25% of the fee after that.

If you suspend your Home Care Package due to residential respite care (or transition care), your Home Care Package provider cannot charge a daily fee.

If your leave is for a holiday or you need to go to the hospital, they still have the option to charge it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the local authority pay for respite care?

You can use your government-subsidised Home Care Package to pay for your residential respite care. Your local authority will also pay a subsidy to your residential care provider.

Do you have to pay for respite in a care home?

While you can use your home care plan for respite care, you will continue to pay your income-tested fee. But, your normal service provider can not charge you the daily fee.

How many weeks of respite care are you allowed?

HCP participants are entitled to 63 days of respite care a year, or nine weeks. This can be extended by a further 21 days/three weeks with the authorisation of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

What should I pack for respite?

When coming for a respite stay, make sure to bring:

  • At least three sets of clothes labelled with your name or initials.
  • Any prescription medications you need.
  • Any books or magazines that you enjoy.
  • Some photos of friends or family to help you feel more at home.
  • A small amount of money in case you want to go on a trip or buy something for yourself.
  • A mobile phone, laptop or tablet (if you have them).
  • Contact numbers of family and friends.
  • Any specific equipment that you use, like a walking stick.
  • Linen and bedding are typically provided, but some people prefer to bring their own.

Home Care Packages and Residential Respite 

You can use your Home Care Package to pay for respite care. But your package will be temporarily suspended. 

You will still need to pay your income-tested fee but not your daily one. Up to nine weeks of respite care every year are allowed, with an extra three weeks if authorised by ACAT.

If you have any more questions about respite care, your Home Care Packages or our services, Haisey Home Care is only a phone call away!

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