As featured in The Boomer lift-out of The Advertiser in September 2018.
The aged care sector has seen widespread reform over the past decade, most notably for home support services. The ‘consumer directed care’ model implemented by the Federal Government is now offering older Australians more choice about ageing at home.
While this has been a positive step overall, some people report still feeling confused about their options and the assessment processes.
The services you can receive will depend on the level of support you require. The Government funds two programs: the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages. Many providers also offer private, fee-for-service programs.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
CHSP offers services like cleaning, home maintenance, personal care and allied health. This may be the most suitable option for people needing basic assistance with daily tasks, and support to reinstate good health and independence at home.
The first step towards receiving CHSP services is to undergo an assessment with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) to determine which services you may be eligible for.
Home Care Packages (HCP)
These are higher level services which are packaged together, giving you access to a greater range of support. There are four levels available, depending on your needs.
This requires an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). Once approved, you are placed on a waiting list to access a package with a provider you choose.
You may also be able to select a fee-for-service program where you can pay privately for the programs that a provider offers.
The My Aged Care website is a useful starting point, outlines information about the types of aged care services available, eligibility, service providers and costs.
Importantly, providers also play a crucial role in demystifying the process. In going that extra step to deliver both quality care and quality customer service, providers can help older people in the community to access programs that best support their ongoing independence, happiness and safety.