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What is respite care?

Respite care (or short stay) is a temporary care option that allows carers to take a break from their caregiving duties.

In New Zealand, respite care is usually provided in a rest home or other residential care facility. It is accessed via an assessment approved by your NASC/older person’s service.

Respite care also provides an opportunity for older people to socialise with others and take part in activities they might not be able to do in their own homes, which helps improve mental and physical health.

In New Zealand, you are normally allocated a set number of days for respite care, based on individual situations. This could range from a single night to a few weeks or more. It’s important to understand that respite care is not the same as convalescent care and can’t be used if you or the person you are caring for is unwell.

You may be able to arrange a respite booking in advance, although this will depend on the availability of respite care in your region. In some parts of the country, there is a high demand for respite care, so it pays to have a shortlist of care homes that offer respite so that you have a few options when respite care is needed.

Want to learn more about respite care? Head to our Knowledge Lab. Or if you’re ready to find a respite care bed in your region, explore your options using the search filter on Eldernet Residential Care.

Updated: 11 Jun 2024
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