Community care and short-term residential care help older people remain at home longer

A report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) looks at the links between in-home community care services, short-term residential respite care and permanent care in residential aged care homes.

The report, The ins and outs of residential respite care, found that people who use both community care services (such as personal care, help around the house and assistance with transportation) and short-term residential respite care, remain in the community longer than those who use residential respite care only.

Around 65% of people who use both residential respite care and community care services remain living at home for at least three months after their respite care ends, compared with slightly under 55% of those who use only residential respite care.

Report author, Ms Rosemary Karmel said that nearly 30% of people accessing respite care have more than one period of care in a year.

'The report also showed that the majority of residential respite care users (56%) access that care some time after they have started using community care services.'

'The study reveals the integral role of respite care in helping older people to continue to live at home - both those who already use community care services and those who don't use this short term assistance,' Ms Karmel said.

26 July 2006

Further information: Rosemary Karmel, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1200.

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.