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There are many reasons why you may want or need some time away from the person for whom you care and each person's reasons are different. It may be that you simply need to have some space and time for yourselves, or that you become unwell or need to attend to your own health issues, need a holiday or have other family commitments. Respite care is the broad term used when we talk about a temporary break from normal routine, designed to be of benefit to both the person with HD and to you, to help support your relationship. 

Respite may take various forms:

  • In house - where a professional carer attends your home for a number of hours per week allowing you time to attend to personal appointments, shopping etc.
  • Day care - where the person you care for attends a regular day care program in the community.
  • Out of home respite - where the person is cared for in a hostel or nursing home facility for a period of time.


To access respite at home or in the community you may need to have an ACAT assessment done. Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) assess the care needs of older people or those with a disability and provide advice on what types of available care services are most appropriate to meet their needs. ACATs also determine eligibility for Australian Government funded community care (Community Aged Care Packages and Extended Aged Care at Home Packages) and residential care services.

To have an ACAT assessment done you can ask your GP for a referral to your local ACAT team.

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres

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.

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 needed 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.

These centres have been set up around Australia to assist you to find care and support to continue living independently in the community and to provide free information about local community and residential aged care, disability and other support services. Your local centre can assist you to locate suitable respite options in your area and can provide assistance with the cost of respite. To obtain more information you can phone their Free call number 1800 052 222.

Huntington's WA Day Centre Enrichment Program

The Day Centre Program is designed to provide participants with a balance of appropirate physical, mental and social stimulation aimed at maintainging a level of independence to support and prolonge community living.  The program is strengthened by the expertise of a Multidisciplinary team, including an Exercise Physiologist, Activity Assistant and Specialised Advisors with backgrounds in Social Work and Nursing. The program operates on Wednesdays from 9.00 am until 12.30 pm during School Terms. The program is facilitated in the conference room at The Niche, 11 Aberdare Road Nedlands.

The aim of the day centre program is to provide an interesting and stimulating environment where people can come together to talk, get involved in activities, have discussions at the same time giving the carer a break.  We also welcome carers to use this as an opportunity to discuss any areas of concern with the Specialised Advisers.

To be eligible to attend the person with Huntington's must be living in the community or in a low care facility. Please call Huntington's WA for further information at 08 6457 7599 or email