A new study by the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) suggests residential respite care is effective in helping older Australians remain in their own homes for longer and spending fewer days in residential care, potentially reducing the costs of aged care. Respite services facilitate short stays for older Australians in residential aged care homes, where they can receive specialised care while also providing relief for their carers. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, evaluated data for more than 480 000 Australians approved for respite care during 2005–2012; the investigators assessed their use of permanent residential aged care during the two years after using respite care. The ROSA Director, Associate Professor Maria Inacio, says her team's latest work indicates that the federal government‐subsidised residential respite care program is achieving its aims. “The program looks to be benefiting both the older Australians who are accessing it and also the system as a whole,” she said. “We know the preference for most older Australians is to remain in their own homes for longer and the data we examined indicates respite care is helping achieve that. In addition, given the high costs associated with permanent residential aged care this is likely to translate into reduced costs across the sector.”
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