October 10 to 16 is National Carers Week. It recognises all the unpaid care that so many people in the community provide, whether it be for someone older or a person living with a disability.
To give you a sense of scale, it is estimated that in Australia 2.2 billion hours of annual unpaid care is provided by loved ones or volunteers, and the replacement value of that care in Australia is estimated at around $78 billion annually, or $1.5 billion per week.
Given the usually constant nature of this care, respite care can be quite a relief.
Respite care is when the person requiring care goes for a temporary visit to a dedicated site. The carer can do something else that may have been impossible otherwise, while the person requiring ongoing care is looked after by experienced professionals in specially-made accommodation.
Warrigal is a community-owned organisation whose "purpose is to support older people to have great lives." In addition to their retirement villages and aged care services, they also have respite facilities. Locally you'll find them in Stirling, Calwell and Queanbeyan.
Moreover, they're currently reaching out to the Canberra community to offer some much needed respite, especially given the extra pressures caused during COVID lockdowns.
Their current offer is stay three weeks and get two free. Terms and conditions apply of course, so contact them for details. This offer will run until December 31.
A spokesperson for Warrigal said the organisation recognises that COVID fatigue is affecting all of us, especially the Canberra community, and they want to provide a safe option for older people to take a break in a supported environment. "Respite has positive benefits for not only the older people who are staying with Warrigal, but also their carers by allowing for some peace of mind while they enjoy a break from their important caring roles," the spokesperson said.
"It's also a great opportunity to get a feel for what supportive living in a residential care home is like, and experience the quality services that Warrigal has to offer."
For more information on this special respite offer call Warrigal on 1800 927 744.