- home help
- personal care
- respite care
- home maintenance and modifications
- home nursing
- food services
- Community Options Programs (COPs) - co-ordination of services if the person you are caring for has complex care needs
- allied health services such as physiotherapy and podiatry
- social support through the Neighbour Aid program
Federal funding for aged care services is mainly used to provide permanent residential nursing and hostel care, as well as short-term respite and tailored package services for people who are ageing.
- Level 1 supports people with basic care needs
- Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs (equivalent to the former Community Aged Care Packages)
- Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs
- Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs (equivalent to the former Extended Aged Care at Home and Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia packages).
The following information goes into more detail about each program.
Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs)
Aged Care Assessment Teams help older people and their carers work out what kind of care will best meet their needs when they are no longer able to manage at home without assistance. The team provide information on suitable care options and can help arrange access or referral to appropriate residential or community care.
Extended Aged Care At Home (EACH)
The EACH program is a small, limited program, which enables frail older people to remain in their homes by providing care at the level currently provided in high care residential aged care facilities. To be eligible, the Aged Care Assessment Team must assess the person you are caring for.
Community Aged Care Packages (CACPs)
CACPs are planned and coordinated packages of community care services to help older people with complex care needs to remain living in their own home. These are designed for each individual and are based upon his or her particular needs.
Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres and services
CommonwealthCarer Respite Centres specialise in helping carers to access community-based or residential respite services in their local area. Respite services help carers – both of frail older people and younger people who are ill or have a disability – to take breaks from their caring. There is a range of services that look after the person you are caring for while you have a rest or attend to other commitments. This can happen in your own home, at day centres or activities or in residential accommodation. Respite is generally not available to enable you to do full-time work, but it can assist you to manage work and care. To find your nearest Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre, telephone freecall 1800 059 059.
Hostel and nursing home care
Historically there have been two options in residential aged care accommodation – hostels and nursing homes. Residential care is available for older people who cannot live at home and who have been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team worker as needing such care.
- Hostels generally provide accommodation and personal assistance for those needing a low level of care
- Nursing homes generally care for people with a greater degree of frailty, often in need of continuous nursing care at a high level
How do I get these services?
To access both the HACC and aged care programs, contact your nearest Commonwealth Carelink Centre on telephone freecall 1800 052 222. Commonwealth Carelink Centres assist older people and their families, people with special care needs and carers with information about community, residential and other aged care services.
How does the service system work?
The HACC and aged care service systems are designed to ensure that the target groups receive support when they need it most. You will have to make and keep appointments, travel and talk to different workers to see if you are eligible for the services. This can be frustrating. However it is worth persevering to get your entitlements.
While you are going through the assessment process, tell the services about your needs as a working carer and try and negotiate for them to fit in with you. Be assertive about appointment times and places that suit you. Fill in forms carefully and ask for assistance if you need it. Keep copies of all forms so you have a record and you can use the information for other forms.
It is important to ask for referrals to other services if the people you are speaking with don’t offer what you want in the way you want it. If there are no services available in your area let people know you need a service. Some working carers have contacted their local newspaper or Member of Parliament and this has led to improvements for them.
The steps for assessing the eligibility of the care receiver for ongoing supports are:
1. The First Assessment
An assessment is usually undertaken at the request of the care receiver, on the recommendation of a carer or concerned family member, or by request of the treating doctor.
The service co-ordinator or Aged Care Assessment Team worker usually conducts the assessment with the full involvement of the care receiver as well as family members or carers. The information given to an assessor will determine whether a person is eligible to receive a HACC or aged care service. Note that:
- A frail older person is eligible to receive support under either the HACC or aged care programs but not both
- A younger person with a disability will only be eligible for the HACC services. However they may be able to receive other DADHC services for people with disabilities.
The assessment will look at the care receiver’s need for assistance and their ability to undertake tasks of daily living. This may also include an Occupational Health and Safety check of the care receiver’s home for safe service delivery. Requests for support are usually prioritised according to the person’s support needs and the availability of appropriate services.
2. Case Planning/Review and Coordination
Case planning/review and co-ordination is the evaluation process of the ongoing needs of the care receiver. The review process is when the service co-ordinator decides what changes need to be made to the type of help that the service is providing to a person. This includes the development, monitoring and review of a person’s service plan and the level of support provided by the HACC or aged care service provider.
3. Case Management
Case management is the monitoringof a care receiver’s care plan after the service supports have been implemented. This process is usually undertaken by Community Options or Linkages project and refers to the assistance received by a person with complex care needs. The case manager co-ordinates the planning and delivery of services a client is receiving from more than one service provider.
Check the ADHC website for information on Dementia Advisory Services and programs for people with disabilities at www.adhc.nsw.gov.au.
Read the article on the Gateway website: 'Traversing the residential aged care path'