Carers & Families

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs): Short-Term and Emergency Respite for Unpaid Carers

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs) aim to support caring relationships by facilitating access to information, and respite care for the people they care for. The Inner West Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (IWCRCC) have capacity to assist unpaid carers with short term and emergency respite. Although CRCC’s should not be part of a patient’s discharge plan, CRCC will endeavour to offer support to patients, who have an unpaid carer; or if the patient is a carer. I have attached a reference list which summarises the eligibility.

Wesley Mission’s Inner West Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (CRCC) Program.
Funded Region: Inner West Council; Burwood Council; Canada Bay Council; Canterbury – Bankstown Council

What is Respite?
• Respite is short term care that allows the Carer to have a break from their caring role
• Respite is caring for the person you look after in your home environment while you take a rest
• It may also mean taking the person you care for out for the day
• Respite can also mean providing care in times of emergency if a carer is hospitalised or ill
• Respite can be a few hours, a day, a night or longer if in a care facility
• Is provided in a way that suits individual needs and circumstances
• For long-term services we refer to other agencies by assisting to make contact, make guided referrals, or advocate on their behalf.

Who is a Carer?
• A Carer is a family member, friend or neighbour who provides regular and sustained care for someone who is frail aged, someone who has a disability, a chronic condition or a mental illness
• They may live with the person they care for and/or have a significant responsibility for their care and support (care recipient)

How does Respite work?
• Carer or referring agency may ring (or email) for initial Intake and Assessment. The needs of the carer are clarified during the intake process.
• Respite requests are prioritised due to high demand
• Direct support is provided by brokered agency staff
• Individual care plan is put together and sent to carer with relevant information about the services
• If changes or extension required, CRCC needs to be informed and situation will be re-assessed
• Each respite request is assessed on an individual needs basis
• IW CRCC do not have a waiting list

Who is eligible?
• Carers of the frail aged (65 and over or 50 if indigenous)
• Carers of people with dementia
• Ageing Carers (65 and over or 50 if indigenous) looking after people with disabilities (adult or child)
• Carers of people with disabilities including mental illness, autism and intellectual disability
• Carers of younger people under 30 with moderate, severe or profound disabilities who are living at home
• Carers of people with a terminal illness in need of end stage palliative care
• Young Carers under the age of 18

What kind of assistance is available?
• Short term or planned respite: If a carer is chronically ill or the carer is planning to have a break respite can be provided when the usual carer is unable to provide care (24 hour care is only provided in emergency situations and for a short time only while other resources are found).
• Emergency Respite: If a carer goes to hospital and needs respite in a medical or other emergency to look after the person they care for (After hours access by phone is possible)

What kind of assistance is available?
• Personal Care Assistance: can be provided to the person requiring care, relieving the carer for a short period of time
• Domestic Assistance: can be provided when the carer is unwell, and needing short term support
• In-Home Respite: can be provided in the home to relieve the carer of their caring role for a short period of time and organised to suit the individual needs of the carer and care recipient
• Community Respite: assistance to access community activities either group or individual
• Vacation Care: If a carer is looking after a child with a disability, and does not have a NDIS package in place, the carer may need extra support during the school holidays, then respite is available depending on budget restrictions
• Residential Respite: If a carer needs support with locating and arranging residential respite in a facility (Aged). Accessing residential facilities depends on availability and suitability
• Social support and Carer education: Referral to social support groups for carers, recreational activities and or assistance with respite to attend carer education workshops
• Transportation: In some situations we can also assist with Transportation as necessary.

How do I access Respite?
• Self-Referral
• Health Services (hospitals and community)
• Aged-care Assessment Teams
• Service providers (NGOs)
• By phoning the free call number: 1800 052 222 (02 9641 7081) (mobiles charged at applicable rates)
• By emailing: [email protected]
• The Respite service is accessible 24hrs a day, seven days a week

How much does the service cost?
• Respite is mostly free of charge at this point in time (except for possible contributions from carers for residential respite or other situations the CRCC might see necessary)
• Carers may be requested to financially contribute but will not be refused services, due to financial hardship
• Services depend on current budget restrictions and priority groups as directed by funding departments

Who Funds CRCC?
• Federal Funding – Department of Social Services

Please do not hesitate to contact the IWCRCC if you would like to speak to any staff member for additional information, or would like flyers posted out to your department.