The Australian Government subsidises many different types of services help people to stay as independent as they can, including living in their own home. This will help you as a Working Carer.
How do I apply for services?
If the person you care for is over 65 years (55 years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander(ATSI)) you can contact My Aged Care (www.myagedcare.gov.au) phone 1800 200 422 to arrange an assessment.
When you call My Aged Care, centre staff will ask you questions to help them understand your needs.
During the conversation My Aged Care will discuss some options with you which may include being referred for a home support assessment, a comprehensive assessment or a direct referral to services.
If the person you care for needs a bit of help with basic tasks at home My Aged Care centre staff may refer you for assessment by a local assessor from the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).
If the person you care for has more complex aged care needs centre staff may organise assessment by a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
The assessment is free and you will never be forced to make any decisions about your future during your assessment. The assessment is only an opportunity to identify options so you can then make a decision. You are welcome to have another person or family member present at the assessment. A comprehensive assessment builds on the information you have already provided to the My Aged Care contact centre staff.
The person you care for may be eligible for either the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or for a Home Care Package.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
CHSP provides entry level care enabling people to stay in their own home longer.
CHSP services provided at home may include:
- domestic assistance – household jobs like cleaning, clothes washing and ironing
- personal care – help with bathing or showering, dressing, hair care and going to the toilet
- home maintenance – minor general repair and care of your house or yard, for example, changing light bulbs or replacing tap washers
- home modification – minor installation of safety aids such as alarms, ramps and support rails in your home
- nursing care – a qualified nurse comes to your home and may, for example, dress a wound or provide continence advice.
CHSP services may also include:
- social support – social activities in a community-based group setting
- transport – helps people get out and about for shopping or appointments.
Home Care Packages
If you have more complex needs, a Home Care Package may be right for you. You can access similar services to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, but on top of this, the services are coordinated and tailored to meet your specific needs.
A Home Care Package provides a co-ordinated package of services tailored to meet your specific care needs to:
- help you stay in your own home as you get older
- give you choice and flexibility in the way your care and services are provided to you at home.
What types of services are provided under a Home Care Package?
The types of services you get under a Home Care Package will depend on your needs. Your service provider will work in partnership with you to identify your goals and needs. Your service provider will also work with you to co-design the best ways to deliver those care and services so you can live a more active and independent life.
The services that can be provided in a Home Care Package include, but are not limited to:
- support services – such as help with washing and ironing, house cleaning, gardening, basic home maintenance, home modifications related to your care needs, and transport to help you with shopping, visit your doctor or attend social activities
- personal care – such as help with showering or bathing, dressing and mobility
- nursing, allied health and other clinical services – hearing services and vision services
- care coordination and case management.
All Home Care Packages are now provided on a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) basis.
Find out more about your choices for care and services in Home Care Packages.
There are four levels of Home Care Packages which can give you the care and services you need:
- Level 1 supports people with basic care needs
- Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs
- Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs
- Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs.
Each package level is funded at different amounts paid by the Australian Government to the service provider that delivers care and services to you.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
All services providing home and community care are required to have a fees policy, with the flexibility to reduce or waive fees according to the person’s financial situation. The fees will be discussed with the person you care for prior to the delivery of services and as a Carer you can be present at all times.
If the person you care for is under 65 years (55 years ATSI) but is frail or has a disability you can phone Australian Unity Home Care Intake Line on 1300 881 144. See our Fact Sheet Services for People with Disabilities.
Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres and services
Commonwealth Carer 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, phone freecall 1800 059 059.
Hostel and Aged Care Facilties (formerly called Nursing Homes)
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
If the person you care for needs to be placed in an Aged Care Facility contact My Aged Care phone 1800 200 422 for an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).