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Respite care is a form of care provided in nursing homes or hostels for the purposes of giving a carer, or care recipient, a short break from their usual caring arrangement.  As with other forms of aged care, persons requiring respite care will be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) in order to gain entry to a nursing home or hostel as a respite care resident.

Respite care must be for a minimum of 14 consecutive days and must not exceed 63 days in a financial year.  Additional periods of up to 21 days may be possible in some cases if the ACAT considers that additional time is necessary.

Respite care will continue to be available under the aged care reforms but will be subject to new subsidy arrangements.