Services to help you stay at home
The following article is an abridged version of a booklet for consumers produced by the Australian Government Department of Social Services My Aged Care program. CLICK HERE to read the full booklet
What services are available?
Most of us don’t want to think about needing support when we get older, but it’s important to know what your options are. Ageing well is about being prepared, having choice and flexibility. By knowing about the services available, you can get the outcome that best suits your needs.
Support to stay at home – Commonwealth Home Support Programme
Many people would prefer to stay independent in their own home, close to their loved ones and connected to their communities.
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) offers a range of different services to help you do that. It is designed to meet your needs, help you stay independent and enjoying your life.
Some of the support services available include domestic tasks like cleaning, washing or hanging out clothes, showering, meals, and basic home maintenance like changing light bulbs.
If you notice that you need a bit of extra help at home, then care services under the CHSP may be right for you.
Support to stay at home – Home Care Packages
If you need more support or have more complex needs, a Home Care Package may suit you.
A Home Care Package gives you more options to live independently. It is a personalised, coordinated, ongoing package of support to help you.
You, your family or carers understand your needs and goals best, so it makes sense that you choose the support you want in your home.
From 1 July 2015, all Home Care Packages are delivered on a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) basis. This gives you greater choice and flexibility over the care and services you receive. It gives you a stronger voice when working with your service provider, to decide what services you want to spend your package funding on.
CDC also allows you, your family member, carer or advocate to decide how involved you want to be in managing your care package. Your service provider will talk to you about your needs and goals, your care plan and individualised budget.
They will also provide you with a monthly income and expenses statement so you know how the funds available to support you are being spent.
Care in an aged care home
Care in an aged care home lets you live in a supported environment where help is available 24 hours a day.
If you are being looked after by someone, and you need a break from your usual care arrangement, there are services that can help you or your carer to take a break. These services are known as ‘respite services’.
If you are in hospital and are ready to leave but you still need support to recover before you return home, you may be eligible for transition care.
My Aged Care
My Aged Care is your one-stop-shop for aged care services and information in Australia. From 1 July 2015 it provides you with information:
on the different types of aged care services
about your eligibility for services and how we can help you find local services
on assessments and referrals to the providers that can meet your needs
about the cost of your aged care services, including fee estimators.
When you call the My Aged Care contact centre, you will be asked for your consent to create a personalised client record.
Your record will include up-to-date information on your needs and the results of any assessments or any services that you receive.
Having a client record will reduce the number of times you need to retell your story. Only you, your nominated representative, your assessor and service providers will be able to access relevant information in your record.
If you are already receiving aged care services you do not have to contact My Aged Care unless your circumstances or care needs change.
To find out how you can access the right aged care services for your needs:
visit the My Aged Care website
call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422*
The My Aged Care contact centre operates:
Monday to Friday – 8am to 8pm
Saturday – 10am to 2pm
The contact centre is closed on public holidays.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, we can help through the National Relay Service. Call 1800 555 677* and ask for 1800 200422*.
If you need an interpreter, we can help through the Translating and Interpreting Service. Call 131 450 and ask for 180 20 422*.
If you are a veteran or war widow/er, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) services or programs. You can talk to someone from the My Aged Care contact centre for more information.
*Calls to 1800 numbers are generally free when made from a landline. All calls made from mobile phones are charged at the rates applicable to each telephone provider.