29 Nov 2020

The importance of disability respite care for the Brisbane carers

Being the parent and full time carer of a child or young person with disability is a unique journey; incredibly rewarding, all-consuming, exhausting and a rollercoaster of emotions. Disability respite care gives carers the opportunity to take a break, re-charge and focus on other things.

What is respite care?

Respite care provides a temporary break for full time carers as well as a break and change of routine for participants. There are several types of care that you can use to take a break, under the NDIS they are not known as “respite” but they may provide respite-like support for the carer.

In-home support – when a Support Worker cares for your child in your home. While this is not technically “respite” but it can give you a few hours to catch up on other tasks while your child is cared for.

Community access – a Support Worker will support your child to participate in an activity or interest outside of your home such as to attend a group or class, a park or social group. This gives you a few hours break, the purpose of this support is not respite for the carer but participation and inclusion for the participant.

Sleepover support – a Support Worker stays overnight at your home so that you can enjoy a good night’s rest or a night away from home. Similar to day time in-home support, this isn’t technically “respite”.

Informal respite – where another family member or friend cares for your child while you take a short break.

Short-term accommodation (STA) and assistance – this is the term that the NDIS uses to describe what we formerly called respite. The NDIA will usually fund up to 28 days of STA per year. The purpose of this support is to provide the carer with a break so that long-term care is more sustainable and to give the participant a break and change of scenery too. It includes support in your home, day respite outside of your home (such as group respite) and short stays of up to 14 days in respite centres such as Xavier Place.

Why is respite care important?

For parents of children with complex and multiple disability, respite care provides the opportunity to do things that might not be easily be able to do while caring for their child with a disability. Things like:

  • Spending time with other children or family members
  • Enjoying an activity you used to do before you were a special needs parent
  • Spending some time with your partner
  • Having coffee with friends or taking a trip to the movies
  • Focusing on study or work
  • Taking some time for yourself to recharge and reset
  • Working on your personal goals
  • Re-connecting with nature
  • Shopping or running errands
  • Attending a family event like a party, wedding or other celebration

All of these things, and more, are important for caregivers to maintain a sense of self and take care of their own mental health and wellbeing and the mental health and wellbeing of other family members.

Knowing that your child is supported and cared for while you do this is critical. You won’t be able to relax unless you know that your child is safe and happy.

Finding the right respite care

Finding the right type and the right provider of respite care will depend on the needs and wants of your child and your family. Do your research to understand what options are available in your area and then work out what will suit your child and your family.

Further information

Click through for further information on Xavier Place, short term cccommodation and respite for children with complex disability and related health needs, or please give us a call on 1800 XAVIER.