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Social / respite care

What is it

Social activities and/or respite services to improve social interactions and provide temporary relief to carers. 

How it works

Aged health socialisation activities are provided in community centres by volunteers. Activities are developed by physiotherapists and diversional therapists to promote social inclusion and to monitor patients for any age-related health issues and to provide support and care options for participants. 

Respite services can be accessed by carers through either the General Practitioner or the hospital’s aged health service. Alternatively, community health staff (community nursing) can organise them directly. 

The services provide temporary (day only) relief for carers who may otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside of the home.

Respite services are provided in the community and in hospital campus centres. A key challenge for the services is transport options for patients. Some facilities are able to provide mini-bus transport to and from the patient’s home; however, most rely on transport from carers. 


Staffing includes nurses, volunteers, and community allied health workers such as physiotherapists and diversional therapists

Success factors

  • Strong volunteer network 
  • Use of community centres which decrease the cost of services
  • Established transportation options.

Models in operation

  • Aged health socialisation activities (Sutherland)
  • Respite services (Sutherland, Kyogle, Concord) 
  • Pole Depot Community Centre – social groups