More than $6 Million to support respite services and help carers

12 March, 2009

Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, recently announced 342 funding grants worth more than $6 million, for one-off funding grants for community-based respite services across the country.

Elliot joined Member for Eden Monaro Dr Mike Kelly at the Queanbeyan Flexible Respite Service to make the announcement that will improve and support respite services for Australian carers.

“This $6.8 million is about helping those at the community level,” Elliot said.

“These one-off grants will improve and support respite services for carers by covering costs, such as minor building modifications or to purchase or replace equipment and furniture,” Elliot said.

The $6.8 million is funded under the Australian Government’s commitment to carers through the National Respite for Carers Programme, which is providing $194 million in 2008-09.

Dr Mike Kelly welcomed the one-off funding grants that will provide more than $118,000 to six local organisations that provide practical support for respite for carers.

The Queanbeyan Respite Service received $14,700 to improve the outdoor area for people using the service.

“I am delighted to see such important local services that deliver grass roots services funded in our region,” Dr Kelly said.

“This funding will help them carry out much-needed work and to purchase equipment and furniture,” Dr Kelly said.

In addition to the Queanbeyan Respite Service, the five other local organisations that received funding include:

  • $54,202 for the Respite Service South Coast in Moruya for transport including a 22 seater bus;
  • $12,860 in Moruya for staff training;
  • $11,300 for the Snowy Monaro Respite in Cooma for outdoor improvements and air conditioning;
  • $22,250 for the Monaro Community Access/Day Program in Cooma for improvements such as flooring and curtains; and
  • $3,420 for the Valmar Support Service Limited in Tumut for staff training
“Everyday respite centres in our region provide much needed respite to carers in our community.

“Respite can allow the carer to go to work for a few hours, go to the shops or socialise with friends.

“These services will be able to improve their quality of service to meet the needs of individual carers and the people they care for.

“The Australian Government is committed to improving respite services around the country in response to the needs of our ageing population and their carers,” Dr Kelly said.

Elliot said: “The National Respite for Carers programme funds more than 600 community-based respite services across Australia. It delivers services in a variety of settings – including carers’ homes, day centres and overnight cottages.

“Carers across this nation play an important role in Australian society. They dedicate so much to improve the quality of the lives of our nation’s elderly and for people with disabilities,” Elliot said.

“Caring for someone full time is physically and emotionally demanding and carers need to be able to take deserved breaks,” Elliot said.

Community-based respite services are funded to provide respite opportunities in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Day care centres which provide respite for a half or full day;
  • In-home respite services, including overnight care and personal care services;
  • activity programs;
  • Respite for carers of people with dementia and challenging behaviour; and
  • Flexible respite in community settings.
Almost 2.6 million Australians provide care for family members or friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or who are frail aged. Of these about 500,000 are primary carers – the people who provide the majority of the care.