What is Short-Term Accommodation?
Short Term Accommodation (STA), also known as respite, provides NDIS participants with an option to take a break from their usual carer, to build independence, or to have a change of scenery. STA can be facility or residential stays, assistance in overnight care, or alternative family care (family and/or friends can assist in care to relieve primary carer). The NDIS will cover all basic expenses with STA funding, which include accommodation, personal care and support, food, and activities.
How is STA Beneficial?
STA is beneficial for both the participant and their carer. For the participant, it allows them to go to new places, try new things, step outside their comfort zone, gain independence, and relax and recharge. Particularly, if a participant is looking to move out and into Supported Independent Living (SIL) or Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), this can be an important first step in preparing for that change. For the carer, it’s a break that encourages and maintains a healthy and positive participant-carer relationship. Caring for a loved one can be emotionally and physically taxing, so it is important for the carer to have time themselves to recharge.
STA can take many forms, but it typically involves temporarily caring for someone in need. This can be done in the individual’s home, a respite centre, or even a hotel/other paid setting. The goal is to provide the primary caregiver with a break while ensuring that the person they care for is still receiving the support and care they need. For the participant, this can also be a vacation setting and allows them to experience new things and enjoy a relaxing holiday that still meets their care needs.
Who is Eligible for STA?
Depending on each individual plan, the NDIS will fund up to 28 days of STA per year, based on individual support needs. For example, someone with mid-level support needs who is looking to build independence may receive STA funding for 1-2 nights away from their usual environment each month. Alternatively, someone with high-level support needs may receive the highest level of STA funding for the full 28 nights a year.
There is some flexibility with how STA funding can be used. It can be for one night, a weekend, or it can be used in blocks of up to 14 days at a time. It should be noted that even if an NDIS participant does not have STA funding specifically allocated in their plan, they can use their Core Funding to pay for STA.
Types of Short-Term Accommodation
There are several different types of STA to choose from, depending on the needs of the caregiver and the participant. Some of the most common include:
• In-Home: This is provided in the individual’s home and can involve a professional caregiver or a trained volunteer. It’s a good option for those who need support for just a few hours, or for those who want to stay in their own home while receiving care.
• Respite Centres: Respite centres are dedicated facilities that provide short-term accommodation for individuals in need. These centres can provide around-the-clock care and support and are ideal for those who need a break from their caregiving responsibilities for a few days or even a few weeks.
• Emergency: This is available in times of emergency, such as when the primary caregiver is ill or has an unexpected family emergency. Emergency care can be provided on short notice and can help ensure that the person in need continues to receive the support they need.
• Vacation: This is a great option for families who want to take a break together or for a participant looking to go on a holiday. With this type of STA, the person in need and their caregiver can go on a holiday while still receiving the care and support they need. More often, vacation STA is for the participant to go on a holiday away from their usual caregiver in an environment where they will still receive the necessary care required to meet their needs.
How to Find Short-Term Accommodation
Finding the right care solution can be a challenge, but there are several resources available to help. Some of the most effective ways include:
• Contacting local organisations: Many organisations and charities offer respite care services. Contacting these organisations and asking about their services is a good place to start.
• Talking to a doctor or other healthcare professional: Healthcare professionals are a valuable resource; they can provide recommendations and connect you with organisations and resources in your area.
• Searching online: The internet is a great resource for finding respite care services. Many STA organisations around Australia can help find the right STA for you.
Short-term accommodation is a valuable resource for families and individuals caring for a loved one with a disability, chronic illness, or other special needs, as well as for the individual. By providing temporary support and care, STA gives caregivers and participants the time they need to recharge and relax. With a range of options available, finding the right STA solution is easier than ever. If you are looking to provide accommodation to participants in the community please contact us. Alternatively, if you are a participant looking for STA, we can connect you with the right providers.
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