Short-term care provides care and support services for a set period of time. There are different types of short-term care depending on your needs, but all aim to help you with day-to-day tasks and either restore or maintain your independence.

Depending on the type of short-term care you access, help can be provided for a few days to a few months at a time.

What services are available through short-term care?

There are three types of short-term care. If you want to receive any type of short-term care, you must have an assessment to determine your eligibility. The services you are assessed for will be based on your situation and your needs.

Short-term restorative care

Short-term restorative care is designed to help you reverse or slow the difficulties you are having with everyday tasks. If you are slowing down mentally, physically or both, need help with everyday tasks, or wish to return to earlier levels of independence, short-term restorative care could be an option for you. It can delay the need for long-term care and support services.


You may be eligible for short-term restorative care if you are an older person and you:

  • are slowing down mentally, physically, or both
  • need help with everyday tasks, and
  • want to stay independent and out of long-term ongoing arrangements.

Transition care

Transition care helps you recover after a hospital stay. It provides short-term specialised care and support to help you regain your functional independence and confidence sooner, and avoid the need for longer term care and support services. Your care is tailored to your needs and goals, and is delivered in the most appropriate place to help you meet them. This could be in an aged care home, in your own home, out in the community, or a mix of these locations, as your needs change with your recovery.


You may be eligible for transition care if you are an older person and:

  • are a patient in a public or private hospital
  • have been informed that you are ready to leave hospital, and
  • would benefit from short-term help.

Respite care

Respite care supports you and your carer by giving you both a break for a short period of time. It can help give you and your carer the time and space to do things independently. You can access respite care for a few hours, a few days, or longer – depending on your needs, eligibility, and what services are available in the area. It can be accessed in your home, out in the community, or in an aged care home.

Respite care can be planned in advance; for instance, if your carer is planning a trip or has an appointment to attend. It is also available in emergencies - if your carer has an unplanned hospital stay, for example.


You may be eligible for respite care if you are an older person with a carer and:

  • your carer is unable to care for you for some reason, or
  • you or your carer need a break from your usual care arrangements.
Older man with cup of tea

How do I get assessed for these services?

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for an aged care assessment.

Answer a few simple questions in our eligibility checker tool. If you meet the requirements, you can apply for an assessment straight away.

If your application is successful, you will be referred for an assessment. An assessor will arrange to meet you in person, usually at your own home.

Check your eligibility

How much will it cost me?

The Australian Government subsidises short-term care providers directly to make care more affordable. You are expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to do so. How much you may pay varies depending on the type and level of care and services you will receive.

The maximum amount you could be asked to pay is:

  • $12.75 per day, if you receive care while living at home (17.5% of the single aged pension).
  • $61.96 per day, if you receive care while living in a residential setting (85% of the single aged pension).

Read our Short-term care costs page for detailed information on the costs involved for the different types of short-term care.