Have you considered your aged care options? Are you trying to understand Australia’s aged care system?

One thing is for sure – navigating Australia’s aged care system is not easy.

So, where do you start? What are the options? Here you will find a short and informative guide to help you start to understand Australia’s aged care system, so you can consider your options and start to develop the best care plan for you. Most importantly, Home Instead is here to help you with this journey and no matter which part of the path you are on, care and a helping hand is only a phone call away.

1) Private Care is Available Now
What are your options if you can’t or don’t want to wait for assistance at home? You might need some short-term assistance following surgery or an illness to help you recover safely at home. Or you might be finding some household tasks more challenging or now need some transport assistance to take you to medical appointments, shopping or on social outings. Immediate help is at hand via Home Instead. This is a great option for anyone who needs help right now or for self-funded retirees who prefer to find and fund their own care arrangements. You can pay for as little or as much care as you need. Just give Home Instead a call and we will discuss your care needs and options. Home Instead can also assist you to plan for your future care needs and help you apply for assessment and access to government subsidised home care programs if that is your wish. Home Instead will help you look at the best home care options for you. Our in-home care services are flexible, available as a one-off, short-term or ongoing care arrangement and are tailored to your personal preferences, circumstances, as well as your budget. We can get you the help you need immediately, with no assessments or waiting lists.

2) Government-Subsidised Home Care – It All Starts with My Aged Care
To access government-subsidised care, the very first thing you need to do is ring the Federal Government’s aged care portal called ‘My Aged Care’ on 1800 200 422 or visit online at https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/ – staff from My Aged Care will discuss your situation and care needs with you and arrange either a Regional Assessment (RAS) or an Aged Care Assessment (ACAT/S). Whichever assessment is deemed most appropriate for you will result in them booking for an assessor to visit you in your home to assess the exact level of your or your loved one’s care needs. Depending on where you live, there could be a waiting period of up to three months just to book in for this assessment – so we recommend you start this process as soon as possible.

3) You Can Choose the Care You Need and Want
While you wait for a RAS or ACAT/S assessment, use this time to have a really good think about your care needs. Think about how things have changed for you at home over the past one to five years, including consideration of those tasks that are becoming harder? What tasks are no longer achievable? Or what tasks do you now ask your family or friends to do on your behalf? Then think about what you your care needs might be in another year and then five year’s time? How suitable is your home in enabling you to safely age there? Could it be modified to make it safer for you to continue to live in it as you age? Have you considered other living options? Where would you like to live? Do you want to stay in your current home, downsize or move into an independent living or retirement village? There are a lot of choices when it comes to care at home – so consider all your options carefully and talk about these options with your family and friends. At Home Instead, we can also assist you with providing you with information about your care options in your local area, answer your questions about care at home, and support you to plan services to support your care needs in the future. Home Instead can provide you with trained CAREGivers to assist you at home right now. Why not give this a try and get to know one or two of our CAREGivers who are matched to you and will quickly get to know and understand you and your care needs, in your favourite space – your own home. We believe in relationship-based care, which means we care about what you love and enjoy in life, not just about what tasks you need completed to get through the day. If you need care now or just want to experience a Home Instead CAREGiver we can start services immediately.

4) Join the Queue for access to CHSP or a Home Care Package
Once you’ve had your RAS or ACAT/S assessment, the results will be mailed to you (usually within a week or two). If you were assessed by a RAS assessor, your letter will inform you about the specific care services you are entitled to under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) such as house cleaning, shopping or personal care. If you were assessed by an ACAT/S Assessor, your letter will inform you about the level of the Home Care Package that you are eligible to have. Home Care Packages are available on a a scale of one to four:
a) Level One – basic care needs, which means you qualify for approximately $9,000 in funding per year
b) Level Two – low care needs, approximately $15,570 in funding per year
c) Level Three – medium care needs, approximately $34,250 in funding per year
d) Level Four – high care needs, approximately $52,000 in funding per year.
Unfortunately, there are currently waiting lists for government-funded home care and this can involve waiting up to a year or longer. It is therefore important that you join the home care package queue as soon as possible and don’t leave it until you have an urgent need for home care services.

5) Keep Your Details Updated
If anything changes for you, you must tell My Aged Care as soon as possible. For example, if you have a fall or are hospitalised for any reason, it may affect your care needs. Also, if you feel your mobility has changed or there are home tasks that you no longer feel you can complete, let My Aged Care know. When you notify My Aged Care that your circumstances have changed, they may be able to prioritise your position in the home care package funding queue. This means you might be able to get additional financial assistance for the help you need, faster.

6) Think about the Future
Give some thought to how things might change for you in the future. Make plans now so that you can be ready with the right and best care plan for you, when you need it. The decisions are yours and you should keep focused on what you want – but don’t forget to think about how your care needs might change. Don’t rule out home care just because you don’t feel like you need it yet – you might need it one day. Become informed about your home care options, and let your family and friends know your preferences. Arrange for a home care assessment via My Aged Care and apply for a home care package early, so it will be ready for you when you need it. It will also make it easier on you and your family or friends to know what you want when your care needs change.

And don’t forget that Home Instead can assist you to look into all the different care options available to you and help plan for the future. So when you need some help at home, Home Instead will be with you, to help out, every step of the way.