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What is respite care?

Professional respite care is a form of support that gives both the carer and the person being cared for a break for a short period of time. It allows the carer to look after their own health, refresh and recharge and enjoy a well deserved break while their loved one continues to receive the support they need.

Respite care can be provided for a few hours, days, weeks or months depending on the needs of the carer and their loved one, eligibility and the type of care required.

Aged care working holding hands with elderly woman

Benefits of residential respite care

Residential respite care can provide clear benefits to both you and your loved one:


A respite break can give you time to refresh and rejuvenate, deal with stress and look after yourself and your general health and wellbeing.


It allows you to tend to your personal responsibilities, and gives you the opportunity to visit friends, go on a holiday or simply have some time to yourself.


Your loved one has the opportunity to engage with other residents and enjoy daily activities such as bus trips and outings and wellbeing programs.


Residential respite care lets your loved one access and enjoy the benefits of modern, comfortable living at one of our aged care centres.


It helps your loved one experience residential aged care, should they require permanent care some time in the future.

Types of respite care

Respite care can be accessed in the home, in a wellness centre or in an aged care centre.

Respite residents live alongside current aged care residents and experience being part of our community. Respite residents will move into a suite at one of our aged care centres, with access to all the benefits and high-quality care that our 50 years’ of experience provides.

Residential respite care is usually planned in advance, for instance if you are planning a trip away or have commitments scheduled and you need your loved one taken care of.

Sometimes you might need to access emergency respite care if, for example, you get sick, injured or need to go to hospital. In these situations, emergency respite care will provide short-term care for your loved one.

Emergency respite care admission is subject to availability and suitability.

If you are looking to take a short break, home respite care provides professional, personalised care for your loved one. Our experienced staff will come and visit for a few hours or take your loved one on a social outing to places they enjoy, like the local café, shops or a nearby park.

Centre-based respite is a day program offers that offers seniors the opportunity to participate in group activities for cognitive, physical and social stimulation – while allowing their carers a well-deserved break.

IRT provides centre-based day respite in the Illawarra only, at the Woonona Wellness Centre.

Participants get the opportunity to join in group activities for cognitive, physical and social stimulation. Activities can include things like trivia, cooking, bingo, gardening, movies and bus outings. We can also offer transport to and from the centre.

How long can someone stay in residential respite care?

Residential respite care can range from one week, through to a few weeks at a time.

If you are eligible, respite services will be subsidised by the Australian Government for a maximum of 63 days in any financial year. This can be extended by up to 21 days if the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) approves it.

To find out if you are eligible, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Respite care admission is subject to availability and suitability.

How much does residential respite care cost?

Respite residents pay a daily fee for each day of their stay, which is capped by the Australian Government at 85% of the single basic Age Pension. Because the stay is temporary, there is no accommodation charge or bond.

There may be additional costs, depending on the provider and aged care centre you choose.

Why is IRT right for you and
your loved one?


IRT offers a wide range of options giving carers the time to recharge while our compassionate staff provide personalised care for your loved one


We can arrange respite care ranging from social and community activities to short stay accommodation in one of our purpose-built aged care centres


Whether you need to arrange respite care for a few hours a week or a month-long stay, we offer the right care to suit.

4 easy steps to respite care:


Get an ACAT assessment

To determine whether your loved one is eligible, they need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) representative. If your loved one doesn’t have ACAT approval, or if you’re unsure whether their current ACAT approval covers respite care, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. A member of ACAT will visit your loved one at home to assess their eligibility.


Contact us

Submit an enquiry below, and one of IRT’s friendly customer service team members will call you to discuss you and your loved one’s needs and preferences and determine availability at your preferred IRT aged care centre location.


Take a tour of your preferred IRT Aged Care Centre

Once a tentative booking is made, you will receive paperwork detailing your loved one’s move-in date and length of stay. You and your loved one will then meet the Care Manager at your selected aged care centre, and you’ll have the option to take a tour of the community.


Confirm your booking and prepare for your stay

Once the Care Manager approves the booking, we will be in contact with you to confirm arrangements and to explain what your loved one should pack for their stay. Then it’s simply a matter of preparing for the respite care in the selected IRT aged care centre.

*Terms & conditions: We will waive the care fee for the first 14 days of an eligible stay. To be eligible, you must have a current ACAT approval for respite care and a respite care allowance balance of at least 14 days. This offer can only be redeemed once during the offer period and is only available at participating aged care centres.This offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Full terms & conditions.

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Get in touch with the IRT Thomas Holt team

(02) 9545 4799

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