Taking a respite break with NDIS STA accommodation

Bridget Bisset MediStays Content Writer Headshot
Man with disability and his mum experience quality time through NDIS STA Respite Packages with MediStays.

Supporting parents and informal supports to sustain a participant’s living situation

For many adults with a lifelong disability in Australia, their parents have met their primary care needs since birth. Short Term Accommodation (including respite) is designed to support you and your carers if there is a need to take a short break from living at home or SDA. 

The NDIS offers Short Term Accommodation funds as part of the Core budget in many participant’s NDIS Plans. The purpose of NDIS STA has been designed to support several scenarios.

The NDIS states they may fund Short Term Accommodation if:
  • [it means] your family or informal supports can support you for longer
  • [it means] you might not need as much support in the future 
  • it helps you maintain functional capacity 
  • it helps you increase your independence 
  • it helps you do more activities

NDIS | Short Term Accommodation or Respite Operational Guideline (PDF 148KB)

The NDIS also states that, Short Term Accommodation funding can be used for respite to support you and your carers. This gives your carers a short break from their caring role.

A respite break for everyone helps to maintain a supportive and stable home life for a participant of the NDIS.

Participants have rights for how they use their Plan Fund

While participants of the NDIS have responsibilities in how they use their Plan Funds, they also have rights.

The NDIS website states that as a participant, you have the right to:
  • choose who delivers your supports and how they do this. You do not have to use just one provider for all your supports
  • not use a provider if you feel they aren’t acting in your best interests
  • ask if a provider has a conflict of interest
  • not feel pressured to buy services or supports you don’t want or need
  • pay for supports at a fair and reasonable rate. You must follow the NDIS Pricing Arrangement and Price Limits if you are NDIA-managed or plan-managed
  • decide what personal information you give to a provider so they can deliver supports.

NDIS | Your rights and responsibilities

Why may it be difficult for a person with disability and their family to take breaks and travel?

Adults with a disability often live at home with their parents. Their parents are not only mum and dad, but also their adult child’s primary carers. There may also be additional paid support in place, typically for daytime activities or overnight care.

Whenever a parent does get a break from caring, they often need this time to catch up on other responsibilities. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave a lot of time (or energy) to experience quality time with their child. Time that everyone deserves.

For a person with a disability, travel can be made more difficult if they have accessibility issues, need specific care that is difficult to organise while travelling, or feel anxious about change.

Respite for NDIS STA supports adults with a disability to make progress in achieving their goals. At the same time, their parents gain peace of mind knowing their child’s needs are being supported.

Can the MediStays Care Navigator team help me to book my NDIS STA?

Sometimes, the funding criteria and eligibility of STA choices can seem complex. Which can make booking STA feel complicated for some participants and their informal supports.

The NDIS wants to ensure that STA funding is used effectively and in support of a participant’s Plan goals, safety and wellbeing. So, it is important that STA criteria are understood and met.

We work closely with our NDIS community to meet their individual needs. From this, MediStays is now offering STA Respite Packages specifically designed to meet the NDIS criteria and support a participant’s unique situation. Packages meet safety and funding requirements of the NDIS, all while supporting your NDIS Plan goals.

We offer flexible choice and control for participants and their supports, so individuals can decide how best to use their STA allocations.

Firstly, safety and accessibility are our number one consideration in recommending STA options to you. Our dedicated team of Care Navigators are experts in the needs and requirements of participants needing NDIS STA.

Next, we look at the needs of your carers, and preferences for things like location and proximity to resources that will support your goals.

What flexibility of supports does MediStays offer for NDIS STA Respite Packages?

Unlike many STA providers, MediStays does not lock you into accommodation with external carers.

We understand that it is important for a participant to have familiar carers where possible. It can help you to feel more comfortable and confident in new surroundings.

This means you can have your own support workers and carers during an STA booking. Having familiar supports who understand your needs can make the transition to a different routine much easier.

This may also help you to save money in your STA funding and Core budget. If you are being cared for by informal supports or using your regular carers from home, no additional funding is needed.

In addition, MediStays also offer STA with supports included. This is an excellent option for participants who choose to take a Short Term Accommodation break without family, and who need supports in place.

How does Respite for informal supports sustain a participant’s living situation?

“Caring for my son takes a lot of energy, especially as I get older. To give me a much-needed break, MediStays books two nights respite for my son every month. It may not sound much, but it’s all I need to recharge my batteries. I also have peace of mind that my son is safe and happy with his regular support workers from home.”

This is a common scenario we see with many of our STA guests. For many participants of the NDIS, their parents or informal supports are their primary carers. When family and friends are informal supports, it can create a heavy burden on their own life goals and wellbeing.

Alongside having regular formal supports, it is important for all primary carers to have a break from time to time. This helps parents and informal supports find time to themselves and recharge their batteries.

Which is why STA Respite funding is designed to help give parents and informal supports a break too. This helps to sustain a participant’s permanent living situation. By ensuring informal supports stay energised and motivated, participants can continue living with them in a connected and familiar living environment.

Whether current living arrangements are in shared SDA or the family home, there are many great reasons for a participant of the NDIS to take breaks from their regular routine. STA creates the space for participants to focus on their Plan goalsWhile away, participants can have flexible formal supports to ensure new skills are gained in a safe and supported way. 

Time off day-to-day responsibilities can offer everyone some well-deserved ‘me-time’. This can help to recharge each person’s ‘batteries’ and inspire new goals.

Time periods without parents and informal supports can also provide important growth opportunities for participants. Building capacity for independence could look like practicing daily tasks with their support workers.

How can STA give parents peace of mind?

As parents, it’s natural to worry about who is going to care for their child when they are no longer able.

So, providing opportunities for adults with a disability to enhance their independence can help to reduce stress for parents.

The goal may not be for a participant to live in their own home – although this is a goal for some people. However, when a participant learns to do an additional daily task with less help, they reach a new level of autonomy and contentment.

STA can also help to take some of the load off parents and informal supports. Every person’s day is made up of many little tasks. So, if a parent needs to give less help with getting dressed or doing the dishes each day? Then that’s a little less a parent needs to assist with on top of their own daily tasks.

Man in wheelchair with intellectual disability dries dishes with a Support worker for his NDIS Plan goals during MediStays STA

How can families use STA to support NDIS Plan goals and increased capacity? 

The core purpose of the NDIS is ensuring a person with disability is supported and empowered to live their life – safe and content. An important aim of the NDIS is to ensure that parents’ fears are alleviated.

For many participants of the NDIS, expanding their independence is a very important goal. With the right plan and supports in place, progress can be made.

Growth can look like opportunities for new creative experiences or learning to navigate public transport independently. The possibilities are endless! With MediStays NDIS Respite STA Packages, our core aim is supporting you to build capacity and achieve your goals.

NDIS STA supports families to take time out to think about their long-term plans. It creates space to figure out important goals and plans for the future.

When community inclusion and robust support structures like the NDIS are utilised, there is a weight lifted from the parents’ shoulders. They are then able to experience more enjoyment with their child.

How does NDIS STA give adults with a disability more choice and control in life?

“As my daughter gets older, her interest in developing independence is gradually increasing. Last year we started booking regular short stays with MediStays to travel from Gippsland to Melbourne. Our daughter loves her trips to the city! She has learnt how to catch the tram and train, and is more confident around large groups of people.”

For an adult with disability, an environment that supports growth and independence empowers them to have more choices for their life. When an adult with disability feels empowered, it can boost their self-esteem and confidence in life.

MediStays STA Respite Packages offer flexible choice and control for participants and their supports, so individuals can decide how best to use their STA allocations.

Through MediStays formal partnerships for accommodation and ancillary services, we are able to offer you an affordable package. We do the legwork so it’s easy for you to book quality STA and meet your NDIS Plan goals.

You get to decide what the priorities for your stay are!

Quality time for parents of a young child with disability

Dad and son in wheelchair experience paper plane activity on the beach with MediStays STA Australia

“My wife and I have a beautiful family. However, the complex needs of our daughter mean that we rarely get a break and our other children rarely get 1:1 attention. Booking STA with MediStays gives me a regular respite break with our daughter so she can experience new things. It also gives my wife time to enjoy being at home with our other children”. 

Spending quality time with family and friends is an opportunity to explore who we are and what we want. It creates the space for connection, laughter and reflection. All children need to be able to spend time with family and friends in a social and enjoyable way. It helps to build social skills and develop their personal identity.

However, for family and friends that are also informal supports, it can sometimes be challenging to spend quality time together. So, MediStays NDIS Respite STA Packages have been designed to support families to spend more quality time together.

We allow flexibility for both formal and informal supports. Paid supports can be arranged in a way that allows loved ones to rest and spend enjoyable time together during their stay.

Our STA service makes it easy to book accommodation, modify needs as necessary, and advocate for what the participant and their family want. We have a dedicated Care Navigator team that go above and beyond to facilitate the needs of every guest’s unique situation.

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Bridget Bisset MediStays Content Writer Headshot
Bridget Bisset
MediStays Content Writer
As MediStays Content Writer, Bridget curates informative and relevant content about MediStays for the communities we serve.
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