Start here if you’re exploring your home care options. This simple guide takes the confusion out of how to organise a home care service and apply for government subsidies.
Working through your aged care options feels like a maze. But at the heart of it all, there is one clear certainty: the wish to live independently at home.
Around 90% of Australian seniors want to live in their home for as long as possible, so they can maintain their quality of life. Home care makes this wish feasible by allowing you to get help with daily tasks while remaining in surroundings that are full of memories.
Here are 4 things we wish everyone knew when considering their aged care options.
1. Identify that home care is required
The need for home care is different for every person. Perhaps you are recovering from a sudden illness or injury, or you’ve been gradually experiencing difficulties with tasks like laundry, showering and driving.
Once you realise that help at home is required, identify exactly what you would like assistance with and communicate this to your loved ones.
Here is what to do next, depending on how urgent your care needs are:
- Future home care: Start planning as soon as you start to notice signs that you require home care, so you have enough time to apply for government support (there’s more on how to do that below).
- Immediate home care: When home care is required after a sudden illness or injury, call us. We can match you with a CAREGiver in as little as 4 hours.
2. Know your options: In-home aged care vs aged care facility
Will home care offer enough support? Even if you want to remain at home, you might be wondering how care works in a home setting.
The good news is there are a variety of home care services available to help you keep living independently:
- Meal preparation
- Housework and gardening
- Personal care
- 24-hour care
Remember you can always take a planned approach, engaging home care and assistance in small increments to see how it works for you.
The alternative is an aged care facility or a retirement village, and each facility will offer different levels of support and independence. If you’re considering a retirement village or similar, home care services can be delivered there.
For a more detailed overview of how home care services are delivered, take a look at the Home Care Solution guide at the end of this post.
3. See if you’re eligible for a government home care subsidy
Once you have decided that home care is right for you, there are two options for covering the cost:
- Privately funded home care
- Government-subsided home care
While there are a number of government subsidies available, the two most common options are the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages Programme (HCP). Your contributions for the cost of care depend on which subsidy you are eligible for.
To determine which subsidy you are eligible for, you need to contact My Aged Care. Then My Aged Care will organise for a local assessor to contact you, so they can perform an assessment as part of your application.
You will be notified when your assessment is approved (this can take a number of months, so start the process early), and then you can commence care with your preferred provider.
See the list of subsidies, how they work and links for getting started at our government-subsidised home care portal.
4. Find a home provider you are comfortable with
You can choose your preferred service provider, even if you are receiving government support. It’s common for seniors to worry that they won’t have any say in their care, but that is not the case.
Under Consumer Directed Care (CDC) guidelines, you are empowered to:
- Set care goals
- Choose the level of involvement you wish to have in managing your care
- Make your own decisions about the care services you receive
- Choose the care and services that best meet your individual needs and preferences
- Have choice and flexibility in the way the care and services are provided at home
While you are waiting for your assessment to be complete, research and meet with your preferred provider so you can get started as soon as the assessment is approved.
When you do meet with a home care provider, keep this checklist of questions handy. It will help you to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Get the complete home care guide
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the process – the Home Care Solution outlines your options in more detail, so you know exactly what to expect.
It is a complete guide, with information about:
- Where to begin to find home care services
- Navigating government subsidised home care services
- Your home care pathway options
- Complex care and support at home
- Home care myths
Download and keep this guide, as it will help you at every step of the process.