A guide to some of the services available for older people to help stay living at home
Services to help you stay at home may include:
- Private care in the home including nursing care
- Government funded care in the home
Anyone can have care at home; it just depends on how you would like to access care.
Private Home Care Services
Private home care services can be accessed immediately as there are no waiting lists. You decide exactly what services you want and when.
For example, at Luxe Care we make sure it is all about you. You have access toyour own expert Registered Nurse Care Manager who oversees everything and makes sure you are happy and receiving the ultimate home care service.
The Care Manager spends time getting to know you and then matches you up with suitably qualified Care Staff who you will really get along with. We also make sure you have a small team that you get to know rather than a new face every day.
Private care services can range from a couple of hours every now and again all the way through to 24 hour care. With private care you can increase or decrease the hours (with some notice) anytime you like.
Government Funded Services
There are two main sorts of services for older people that are supported by the government.
The first is the Commonwealth Home Support Program and the second is the Home Care Package Program.
Both of these services require assessment and an application process before the government grants access to these programs. This means that you may not get services immediately. For example there are around 120,000 people on the waiting list for home care packages, with wait times of up to two years.
The Commonwealth Home Support Program
Services for older people are funded and managed by the Commonwealth Department of Health through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
For all CHSP services your income is used to determine fees and the means testing is done by reference to your pension status.
The CHSP program is designed for frail, older people and is meant to be short-term. An example might be someone who is recovering from hip replacement surgery. So the help and support would be relatively small and would have an end point.
This program may be right for you if you are an older person who can mainly live and cope on your own and need just a little support.
The Home Care Packages Program
Home Care Packages are for the long-term and are for people who need a coordinated plan of services. After an assessment and waiting period you have to find a Home Care Provider and have a Care Management Plan created to suit your goals and needs. This is constantly monitored. With a Home Care Package the government pays for some of the costs and you have to pay a ‘basic fee’ plus, in some cases, an income tested fee.
Everyone on a Home Care Package is required to undergo an income assessment via Centrelink. Depending on the assessment you may be required to contribute up to around $11,000 towards the total amount of the package.
There are four levels of home care packages ranging from level 1 to level 4. The amount in each package ranges from around $9,000 a year up to around $52,000 a year for a level 4 package.
The Home Care Provider also takes out administration and management fees from the total amount. In order to manage the funds you receive an individualized budget and monthly income and expenditure statements.
There is a national system for prioritizing access to home care, managed by My Aged Care. Once you get to the front of the queue you will be assigned a Home Care Package which you can use to receive care from a provider of your choice.
As there is a limit to how many hours of care you can get with a Home Care Package some people like to combine Home Care Package funding with private care.