Promoting flexible respite for carers of people with dementia

Promoting flexible respite for carers of people with dementia

Alzheimer’s Australia (Department of Social Services)
Duration: 2015 – 2016


In 2015, Alzheimer’s Australia, the University of Wollongong, Carers Australia and the National Respite Association were awarded an Aged Care Service Improvement Grant by the Department of Social Services, Commonwealth Government of Australia. The objectives of this project were to promote flexible respite services within existing funded services and to develop models for individualised funding. Specifically this project aimed to:

  • Assess and analyse existing models of respite in new national aged care programs
  • Develop resources and a coordinated communications program to:
    • Promote awareness and uptake of best practice flexible principles in aged care respite provision within current or revised guidelines; and
    • Support and activate choice by supporting consumer understanding of the range of flexible respite available
  • Develop a proposal for the trial of individualised funded respite and an evaluation framework that would inform the future policy development and planning of a trial for the cashing out of respite.

What we did

To meet the objectives of the project we conducted:

  • A literature review
  • A content analysis to identify options for flexible respite in the three new national government programs (Home Care Packages, Commonwealth Home Support Program and the National Disability Insurance Scheme)
  • Key stakeholder interviews with service providers and policy makers.

The aim of these activities was to gain an overall perspective of the impact of community care reforms and on access to flexible respite. They were also utilised to inform the development of a proposal for a flexible respite trial and consultation with consumers and other stakeholders about the trial model.

Other activities that were also undertaken as part of the project included:

  • Interviews and focus groups with service providers and consumers to identify good practice, its contexts, and barriers to delivering and accessing it
  • The development of resources for service providers to promote innovation in good flexible respite practice and an engagement strategy
  • The development of resources for consumers to help bridge the information gap about flexible respite and an engagement strategy.


Last reviewed: 1 June, 2017

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