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Home away from home for older Territorians gives carers a break.

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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing


13 January 2006 JB 04/06

Home away from home for older Territorians gives carers a break

The first major allocation of funding to cottage-style respite care will provide increased support to carers of frail older Northern Territorians, the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop announced today.

“The funding announced today is for a range of new “cottage” respite services that provide a safe home-like environment for frail older people, which gives their family and carers a break from the work of caring for that person,” Ms Bishop said.

Funding of $1.8 million over four years has been approved to providers in the Northern Territory to enable them to provide cottage-style overnight respite care, as part of a national funding allocation of $59 million.

For example, around $607,000 over four years has been approved to Carers NT to provide overnight and other respite care to assist carers in isolated Indigenous communities across the Top End.

“This is an innovative project which will take respite care into remote areas and communities where it has not been previously available,” Ms Bishop said.

“Carers NT will use a ‘Troopy’ four-wheel-drive vehicle and a large, well-equipped trailer, with back-up support facilities, to provide an opportunity for older people to receive care and give their normal carers a break.

“The project will use experienced, trained aged care staff and also local workers to ensure that the respite care is sensitive to the special needs of remote Indigenous clients.

Respite services help support thousands of people to remain at home rather than enter permanent residential aged care.

The extra funding for cottage respite care is part of the 2005 Budget and provides $207.6 million over four years for additional respite care support for carers, bringing total funding for the National Respite for Carers program in 2005/06 to $135 million.

Media contact: (Ms Bishop) Murray Hansen 0417 886 155 (Carers NT) Garry Halliday 08 8948 4877