What Is Respite? Australia’s NDIS Short-Term Accommodation Program Explained

In Australia, there is a program that helps people with disabilities enjoy a better quality of life called NDIS, which stands for The National Disability Insurance Scheme. This government program supports people who suffer from a significant and permanent disability that might prevent them from taking part in everyday activities if they had no outside support. The program works with individuals and families to provide enough extra care to enable the disabled person to live as much of a normal, independent life as possible either in their own home or in a group living situation.

Just like anybody else, there are times when the program’s participants need to spend some time away from their regular accommodations, either as a holiday, or if there is a situation where their usual home is inaccessible for a time for some reason, or their regular caregivers become ill, unavailable, or need to take a holiday themselves. This temporary arrangement is a service called “respite” and can be made use of for just a few hours a day or for a few weeks at a time. If a disabled person in the NDIS program requests respite, they will be referred to a short-term accommodation NDIS in Sydney, or in their local area, where they can live outside their usual residence for a short period of time. This respite is designed to be a positive experience. This respite away from home in a short-term accommodation is an opportunity to:

  • Try out new things, learn new skills, and explore new passions as well as increase one’s capacity for independence
  • Meet new people and make new friends in a comfortable, easy-going environment
  • Allow the current living situation to undergo maintenance and repairs or deal with an emergency
  • Give regular caregivers and informal support a break for holidays, work, or other appointments

The short-term accommodation will include:

  • Accommodation
  • Personal care
  • Meals
  • Activities chosen and agreed to by the guest and the provider

In general, the NDIS program will fund up to 28 days of short-term accommodation every year that can be used flexibly. For example, the individual could use a block of 14 days at one time or spread it out over one weekend a month for a year. The funding is usually designated for a group price in which the individual may share support with other people unless it is found that they need individual support because of their disability.

If an individual in the NDIS program feels that they need or desire short-term care outside of their regular home care they should consult with their Support Coordinator and their Local Area Coordinator. If the situation warranted it, the short-term accommodation could be extended to a medium-term accommodation depending on the individual’s support needs.

If you have questions about short-term accommodation or the NDIS program as a whole, visit the NDIS website for more information. A short respite away from one’s usual home in a safe and supportive environment can be very beneficial to NDIS participants as well as their loved ones, giving the disabled person a chance to explore and experience new skills, people, and places.

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