The Government will work with the State and Territory Governments to guarantee respite care for ageing parents who care for their sons and daughters with disabilities.
Parents over 70 years of age who are caring for a son or daughter with a disability would be eligible for up to four weeks respite each year. Parents aged 65 to 69 who care for a son or daughter with a disability and need to spend time in hospital would be eligible for up to two weeks respite care.
The Australian Government is offering to contribute half the funding for this initiative. State and Territory governments will need to match this funding to ensure guaranteed access to respite care by these ageing carers.
Ageing parents are often worried about how their sons and daughters will be cared for including helped into disability accommodation when they can no longer provide care. The Government will work with the States and Territories and the carer and disability sectors to develop options for ageing carers to better plan for the future for their sons and daughters. The Australian Government will propose that the Community and Disability Services Ministerial Council establish an advisory body to advise on these issues.
Many ageing carers of sons and daughters with disabilities have been out of the workforce for a long time, have limited financial resources and may be facing health problems. To assist ageing parents to continue caring for their sons and daughters with disabilities, the Government will provide access to regular respite care.
In 2002, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare identified an unmet need for respite services for parents caring for sons and daughters with disabilities. The report identified 16,500 carers over 65 years of age caring for a son or daughter with a disability.
1 January 2005.
Total Government Funding
$72.5 million over four years.