Respite has confused many people since moving to the NDIS because at first glance it appears to not be part of the Scheme.
This is because NDIS is centred around the person with disability and enabling them to work towards their goals, while respite has previously been thought of as mainly benefiting the family/carers by providing them with a ‘break’ from caring responsibilities.
The NDIS does however recognise that family/carers often have a very important role in caring for their loved one – this is called ‘informal support’
Overwhelming caring responsibilities and other factors such as illness and ageing can place carers’ wellbeing at risk and compromise their ability to continue in the caring role.
In many cases, sustaining informal support is crucial to meet the needs of people with a disability and to maintain close supportive relationships on an ongoing basis.
While the NDIS price guide states that ‘from time to time, participants may require temporary supports that are different from their usual arrangements’, there is currently there is no item listed under NDIS specifically as ‘respite’.
However, respite is available but in ways you may not be used to describing, such as:
- Short term accommodation and assistance (centre-based overnight respite)
- Assistance in living arrangements (host family/alternative family) solution
- Assistance with self-care overnight (generally in-home)
- Note: These supports are all from core funding, allowing you more flexibility in the way you use them.
In a nutshell this means that respite options in your area – such as in-home respite, centre based day respite or overnight respite are able to be funded as part of plans, providing you’re eligible.
Usually short-term accommodation is in a group-based facility, includes all expenses during the stay, and is in short periods of up to 14 days at a time.
Like everything in the NDIS, any support that is requested needs to be linked back to the participant’s goals for it to be funded and to be shown as reasonable and necessary.
So, the types of goals you could use could include:
- preparing to move out of home,
- increasing independence and life skills away from family,
- making new friends or developing new relationships,
- maintaining close relationships with my family.
Other useful links:
Carers Australia has a wealth of useful information for carers:www.carersaustralia.com.au/
Carer Gateway provides information and practice advice: www.carergateway.gov.au