Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres are information centres for older people, people with disabilities and those who provide care and services. Centres provide free and confidential information on community aged care, disability and other support services available locally, interstate or anywhere within Australia.
The network of 54 Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres has around 65 'walk-in' shopfronts throughout Australia. Many shopfronts are conveniently located near, or within, shopping centres.
You can contact your nearest Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre by phoning a national telephone number Freecall™ 1800 052 222*. Anyone can contact a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre and to date Centres have assisted over 500,000 people.
When you contact a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre the staff at the Centre will discuss your situation with you, and give you information about the local services available or those you may benefit from. However, if you would like to search for services in your area yourself you can use our online search facility.
About the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre Program
There are a wide range of services to support independent living in the community, but finding out about them or accessing them can be time consuming, difficult and confusing. Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres provide a single point of contact for the general public, service providers, general practitioners and other health professionals for information on community, aged and disability services and carer support. The Centres can also assist with information about costs for services, assessment processes and eligibility criteria.
Each Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre has extensive regional networks and maintains a comprehensive database containing community aged care, disability and other support services. Shopfronts are operated by organisations that already provide established services within their region. Their extensive local knowledge ensures they provide a quality service. This regional focus enables each Centre to develop an awareness of the entire range of services available, to establish networks with local providers and ensure information is up to date.
The Centres can also help arrange respite, when carers need to take a break from caring. They do this by acting as a single contact point for information need by carers and by organising, purchasing, or managing respite care assistance packages for carers. Examples of respite care assistance include in-home respite care; support workers to assist you when you are taking a break away from home; and residential respite care.
If you require information outside your local area, Centre staff can link you to other Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres around Australia and they in turn will provide accurate information about services in their local area. The network of Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres can provide information on services available in every town and city in Australia.
Centres provide information on many types of assistance, from personal care and domestic help to accommodation in nursing homes and hostels. Your local Centre can also let you know which services are available in your area. All information is free of charge and provided in confidence.
Information is available in 17 community languages other than English and information is available for Indigenous and vision impaired clients.
If you would like to visit a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre, you can find the location details of your closest Centre by searching here.
Alternatively, you can call your nearest Centre on Freecall™ 1800 052 222*. Deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired callers may call through the National Relay Service using their modem or TTY by dialling 1800 555 677 then asking for Freecall™ 1800 052 222*. Speech impaired callers may also call through Speech-to-Speech Relay by dialling 1800 555 727 then asking for Freecall™ 1800 052 222*.
If you need an interpreter to assist you to contact your nearest Centre, telephone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50. Information brochures printed in many different languages are available at your local Centre, or through the resources page of this website.
Shopfronts are operated by organisations that already provide services in their region. The wide range of organisations includes community based, religious, charitable, private, and local and State government providers.
Every Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre operator provides a walk-in shopfront, where anyone is able to walk in and seek the information they require face-to-face. If you find it more convenient, you may phone the Centre on Freecall™ 1800 052 222*, or search the services database online.
The National Respite for Carers Program supports carers of older people and those with disabilities to take time out from their caring role. The program provides the comfort of knowing that your dependents are being well looked after.
- Respite Services
Information about respite services in your local area can be obtained by phoning a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on Freecall™ 1800 052 222* during business hours or, for emergency respite support outside standard business hours, Freecall™ 1800 059 059*
- The National Carers Counselling Program
Carers have access to short-term professional counselling and assistance to manage issues such as stress, loss and grief through the National Carers Counselling Program, delivered by Carers Australia. Contact Carers Australia on the national Freecall™ number 1800 242 636*
The Australian Government provides a range of programs and services designed to give older people the opportunity to stay in their homes and to live independently in the community. There are also a range of residential aged care options available. A comprehensive overview of these programs and services is available online.
For further information on the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre program contact your local Centre by calling Freecall™ 1800 052 222*.
(* Calls from mobile phone are charged at applicable rates)