Respite Care

Respite Care

The Commonwealth Respite Carelink Center (CRCC) for respite care.

What is Respite care

Caring for someone is a valuable and rewarding experience. Caring can also be stressful and may leave you feeling emotionally or physically exhausted.

As a Carer, you should try to take regular breaks from your caring role so you can recharge your batteries. Such breaks are known as respite and may help relieve stress for you and the person receiving care.

Getting respite breaks can give you time to do everyday activities for yourself and might help you deal with stress, recharge and look after yourself a bit. It can also help you to continue to provide care.

Respite care

Respite care can allow both you and the person you care for to take a break. You can choose what is best for you and the person you care for.

Respite care can be provided informally by family or friends, or formally by a respite service.

Some people may choose respite at home, while others prefer community or centre-based services.

Short breaks – a few hours or part of a day – are offered by in-home respite and day centres. Longer term breaks – a full day, overnight, a weekend or a few weeks – are offered by day centres, overnight cottages or residential care homes.

Carers often worry about leaving the person they care for. But it is important to remember that respite is only for a short period of time and regular breaks may be important for you as a carer.

Emergency Respite

Emergency and short-term crisis help may be available if you are unexpectedly unable to continue to care for someone.

In an emergency contact the Carer gateway on 1800 422 737

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You may also be able to access other support, including crisis counselling, through your state-based carer association. Call Carers Australia on 1800 242 636.

The Independent Living Centre (ILC) in your area may also be able to assist and they can be contacted on 1300 885 886 nationally or 9381 0600 in WA.

Who is eligible

Emergency respite care may be available to anyone who cares for a loved one, family member or friend in their home who: has a disability or a mental illness, has a chronic condition or an elderly that is frail and a falls risk.

There are many different situations where emergency respite care might be available, including the death of a family member or close friend, if you or another dependent family member are ill or injured and an urgent situation that makes it difficult for you to fulfil your role as a carer.

This online platform opens into the Carer Gateway and is a national online and phone service that provides practical information and resources to support carers.

The interactive service finder helps carers connect to local support services.

The platform is part of the commonwealth respite carelink center and boasts a lot of information for both carers and people without carers so you can establish what is required to live a healthy life.

It covers topics such as;

  • Am I a Carer?
  • The types of Carers
  • Connecting with other Carers
  • Planning for an emergency
  • Health and well being
  • Payments

How does this service work

The form of respite varies with the time, level and type of care needed:

  • For a few hours, or overnight, in-home or centre-based respite may be best.
  • For several days or more, respite away from home may be possible.


Call the Commonwealth Respite Carelink Center for respite care or ILC to help you to access the services that might be most suitable for your situation. They can be reached on the numbers given below.

While emergency service aims to give you the support you need as soon as possible, you may still have to provide some information to make sure the right type of care can be provided.

An assessment will usually involve an informal discussion with someone from the service. They may be able to make sure that both you and the person you care for get the support needed.

You might be able to get financial support from government-funded centres such as the Independent Living Centre.

However, your Commonwealth Respite Carelink Centre will advise you on services and centres that are subsidised and where these services can be obtained.

For a more detailed analysis of what your needs are you can either call CRCC on 1800 052 222 or go directly to their website.

If you’ve missed our blog and want to read one that may be of help then go to the Stress page and keeping fit by simple exercises page.

Update March 2021:

Please be aware that as of the 6th April 2020 the current Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre program (CRCC) transitioned to the new Carer Gateway.

Carers will be asked to access supports such as in-person counselling and peer support and emergency respite, from Carer Gateway service providers. This will replace the current services provided by Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres.

Watch the videos to get better aquainted.


“Carer Gateway has been designed by carers, for carers.”

“Support is focused around you, with help that’s flexible and personalised to your needs.”

“Access a range of in person and online services and supports, including counselling … peer support … flexible respite care options… skills courses … and practical information and advice.”

“Being a carer can be tough, but Carer Gateway is there to support you.”

“So, to access support, services and advice, contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, or request someone to call you at”

Watch more carer gateway videos here.

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