Accessing Respite Services

Emergency Short Term Respite

Carer Support

Emergency Respite may be needed by carers who have an emergency and require an immediate, time-limited break such as if they:

  • become ill and are hospitalised at short notice
  • have other health needs that prevent them from being able to provide the person with dementia with their usual care
  • have an emergency in the immediate family that requires the carer to be present
  • have a death in the immediate family.

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre

If you need emergency respite care then call the local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre. They provide a practical response service and all efforts will be made to locate a respite service out of hours for carers in an emergency situation. Centres are located throughout Australia and you can contact your nearest Centre by phoning:

Phone Icon   1800 052 222 during business hours (Freecall except from mobile phones).
Phone Icon   1800 059 059 outside business hours (Freecall except from mobile phones).


Planned Respite

Planned respite can also be achieved via utilising services that directly support the needs of people with dementia who are living in the community. Whilst these services have a focus on meeting the needs of the service user, accessing appropriate care, support or activities for the person with dementia is one way to assist you both in gaining some respite.

My Aged Care

The Australian Government offers a range of services that can give you the extra help you need around your home. These services include domestic assistance, personal care, meal services and nursing care. There is usually a small fee for services and the amount depends on your income and the type and number of services you need.

As of July 1, 2015 government programs and services to support older people at home (including those living with dementia) will be delivered via two programs:

  • Home Support Program – is an entry level  program for older people who require lower level support  to remain in their home. Assessment for this program is conducted by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS).
  • Homecare Packages Program –  is for people who have complex needs that can only be met by a coordinated package of care. Assessment for a Package is conducted by an Aged Care Assessment Team.

For more information or to access an assessment visit:

MyAgedCare Link Button

Phone Icon   Call the MyAgedCare Contact Centre on 1800 200 422.

Depending on the needs of the person who will be using the service (in this case the person with dementia for whom you care), MyAged Care will refer you for an assessment for services to either the Regional Assessment Service (for the Home Support Program) or an Aged Care Assessment (ACAT).

Younger Onset Dementia

People with Younger Onset Dementia (ie. those with onset under the age of 65 years) will be eligible to receive support as part of the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Knowing What You Want

Feedback from consumers and services since the implementation of the MyAged Care Gateway and National Disability Insurance Scheme suggests that there can be considerable delays experienced by people between the time they make their enquiry, when they receive the assessment and when they are advised of their eligibility for services. We recommend that you use this time to become informed about the nature and range of services that are available for people with dementia by visiting pages on this site including In-Home Support, Centre-Based Respite and Residential Respite.

Getting Assistance to Navigate

Check our Tools and Resources but many people also benefit from talking to people with specific dementia expertise and experience. This can help in the process of identifying appropriate services that will meet both the needs of the person with dementia and their carers.

Carer Gateway

Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides practical information and resources to support carers.

Phone Icon  1800 422 737