Generally, it is recognised that many people would prefer to remain in their homes as they get older. This is called Home Care. Usually, they see it as retaining their independence. If you are one of those people, you would need to consider two things. Firstly are you able to manage generally? If so perhaps you just need some help with daily tasks.
In that case, you need to know what support services are available. The next important question will be your eligibility for assistance. That will lead to an assessment taking place. And finally the all important question of what these services are likely to cost you.
Accessing entry-level services
You will need to do this through the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
Determining your eligibility
The following criteria will be applied to this test. You need to be 65 years or older, or 50 years or older if you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person. Or if you are 50 years or older and on a low income. This also applies to people who are already homeless or at risk of homelessness. Furthermore, this also covers people who are still living at home. And also people who require assistance to continue to live at home and independently.
The assessment tests
If you fall under the above categories, the number to call at My Aged Care is 1800 200 422. The staff there will begin by asking you some preliminary questions. For instance, what are your current needs? What circumstances are you living under? The answers to those questions will enable them to refer you to the appropriate aged care services. Your approval for care will then depend upon an assessment undertaken by a regional assessment service. You can find out more by clicking on the link at: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/eligibility-assessment/home-support-assessment.
The aim of the Commonwealth Home Support Program is to support your independence as you get older. They can do this by examining your ability to remain living at home safely.
Furthermore, you may be eligible for some additional, short term services. For instance if you are recovering from an injury, surgery or a hospital stay. In that case, you should contact your Service Providers first.
Types of support services
Perhaps you need help with the cleaning or your laundry. Or maybe its personal care such as bathing, showering or getting dressed. Furthermore your home may require some minor general repairs for example. Things such as changing light bulbs that you cannot reach easily. Or maybe you have some tap washers that need replacing. They can also carry out some home modifications to make it safer for you. Things such as alarms, ramps and support rails.
Under the heading of nursing care, you may need a qualified nurse who can dress a wound. Or just general advice about things such as continence. If you need help with social activities, or transport for shopping or appointments these are available too.
Different types of food services
If you need help with meals, various alternatives are available to you. For instance you could eat at a Community Centre. People are available to help you with food shopping. If you prefer to eat at home someone will be able to assist you with making meals and food storage. Furthermore ready made meals can be delivered to your home.
Allied Health and Therapy services
Diverse types of Allied Health and Therapy services are available through this program too. Things such as physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology, occupational therapy and tips for healthy eating by a dietician.
If you have a carer, help is available to enable them to take a break. In the first instance you should contact the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737. The link is: https://www.carergateway.gov.au.
If you want to find out more details, follow the link at: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/short-term-care/respite-care.
Homeless or at risk of being homeless
Support and help is available to you if you are homeless or at risk of being homeless. The program can provide assessment services as well as referrals to accommodation service providers. Should you need help with this process, there is an advocacy program and the staff member will help guide you through the processes.
If you would like further information, you can find it at the following link: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/help-home/commonwealth-home-support-programme/help-older-people-homeless-or-at-risk.
How much will the above cost?
Subsidies are available from the Australian government. These cover a whole range of aged care services. The aim is to keep the fees reasonable and affordable. However, if you are eligible for the programs, you will be expected to contribute to your care costs. Your ability to do so will also be assessed. Nonetheless, you do not need an income assessment to access the program’s services. Furthermore, your age pension will not be affected by your contributions. The only stipulation is that you would need to discuss your service provider’s fees with them. You will only receive the services after you have agreed to the fees.
Should you find yourself in a position of hardship, ask your service provider if they have a fee policy for such an eventuality.
You will find further reading matter at the following link: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aged-care-home-costs-and-fees.
Types of Home Care Packages
Various home care packages are available. To find the service that is right for you, you should read the information at the following link: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/help-home/home-care-packages/accessing-home-care-package.
This will include the details in your home care agreement that will be very important to you. Details such as your care plan and how your home care package budget is presented. It will also explain what you should expect when you start receiving services. Finally, if you are a carer, you will be able to access information concerning end of life care at home. Help and support are available to carers as well.
Find more information on the Commonwealth Government’s Home Support packages on the My Aged Care website Home Care page here (https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/help-home/commonwealth-home-support-programme)