Residential respite care

The Australian Government subsidises community-based and residential respite care with the aim of providing a person and their carer with a break from their usual care arrangements, or during emergencies. It is also becoming common to use residential respite care on the way to permanent residential aged care (PRAC) (AIHW 2023).

This report explores the use of residential respite care among 2 groups of people living with dementia:

  • “Community 2019” group: people living in the community in 2019, who did not enter permanent residential aged care in 2019 or 2020
  • “Subsequent PRAC” group: people living in the community for all or some of 2019, who did enter permanent residential aged care later in 2019 or in 2020.

Residential respite care stays were analysed for the year 2019 for the “Community 2019” group, and for the 12 months before entering permanent care for the “Subsequent PRAC” group.

It should be noted that the linked data do not include community-based respite care services, or specialised residential aged care programs that are common in regional and remote areas, such as the Multi-Purpose Services Program and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.


AIHW (2023) Respite use on the way to permanent residential aged care, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 28 June 2023.