As you age, it can become difficult to live a safe and healthy life at home. Home care enables you to stay at home longer by providing in-home care and support. It helps you maintain independence and lets you enjoy life at home. If you are considering home care for the aged, you may be eligible for government funding towards the cost.
What is home care for the aged?
Everyone has different needs – some more complex than others. That’s why home care for the aged is tailored to your specific care needs. You may need someone to:
- shop regularly for you
- do daily chores, like cooking and cleaning
- help with personal care, like dressing and bathing
- modify your home to improve your mobility
- provide allied health care or social support
- transport you to appointments
- do maintenance or repair work
- provide respite care to give you and your regular carer a short break.
All of these supports are available through home care services, depending on your situation. Your care needs will determine which funding support program you may be eligible for:
- Commonwealth Home Support Programme
- Home Care Packages
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
The CHSP offers entry level support for older people who need some basic help at home. This could include any of the supports listed above but government funding is capped each year, depending on your circumstances. The maximum amount an eligible person can receive is approximately $10,000 annually.
This home care option is best suited to people who only need a little support to maintain their independence at home.
Home Care Packages
Home care packages offer four levels of support to suit more complex care needs. Each package offers services based on the person’s specific care needs and may include any of the supports listed above. However, these packages may also include extra nursing support for conditions like dementia. Funding for home care packages ranges from 2 hours a week at $10,271.10 per year (Level 1) to 10–13 hours a week at $59,593.55 per year (Level 4).
This home care option is best suited to people who need a flexible package to meet complex needs.
Read more about the difference between CHSP and home care packages here.
How old do I have to be to receive in-home care services?
You need to be 65 years or older to access government-funded home care for the aged. You can receive in-home care services from 50 years of age if you satisfy one of the following criteria:
- You identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.
- You are on a low income, are homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
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How do I know if I am eligible to receive aged in-home care?
The first step towards determining your eligibility is to register with My Aged Care. From there, you can check your eligibility online or over the phone. If eligible, My Aged Care will book you in for a face-to-face assessment, which will be conducted in your own home.
This assessment will determine whether you are eligible for government-funded services and, if so, which services you can access. You will find out at your assessment if you are eligible for CHSP. For home care packages, your assessor will take the time to fully understand your needs and assess your eligibility before informing you via letter of their decision.
At Aged Care Decisions, we want to support you in finding the best care possible for your unique situation. Connect with a team member today to see how we can help.
How much does aged home care cost for an eligible person?
Although eligibility is not means tested, each eligible person is expected to contribute financially to their aged home care. A financial assessment will determine how much you will need to contribute.
For the CHSP, the government covers most of the cost; you will simply need to pay the out of pocket expense for each service that you use. This expense differs between home care providers. For home care packages, you may not have to contribute anything. If you are required to contribute, the contribution can range between $1 and $42 a day. This includes a basic daily fee and an income-tested fee.
The Aged Care Decisions team can help you compare providers to find a solution within your budget. Call 1300 775 870 and chat with one of our aged care specialists.
What if I’m not eligible for aged in-home care?
If you are not eligible or are on a waiting list for care, you can access home care through a fee-for-service arrangement. This means that you privately fund your own home care service.
Aged Care Decisions can chat with you about available services and answer your questions about the cost of privately funded home care for the aged. Call us on 1300 775 870 to discuss your specific care needs.
If I am eligible, how do I start receiving in-home care?
If you are eligible for the CHSP, you can start organising care through approved service providers in your area. You may need to wait until some services become available, as aged care service providers are often fully booked. Once your chosen service is available, you can access care immediately.
If you are eligible for a home care package, you will be placed on a waiting list. Once you are assigned a home care package, you will need to choose a home care provider. They will work with you to create a tailored package of home care services that meet your specific care needs. Your provider can coordinate your services for you, which takes the stress out of managing this yourself.
Aged Care Decisions work with a range of Home Care providers throughout Australia , so we are well-informed about services on offer and their availability. Our free service offers you support in finding a provider that suits your unique care needs. Get in touch through our online form or call us on 1300 775 870.
How long will it take to start receiving aged home care services?
Current wait times for home care packages are 3–6 months for a Level 1 package and 9–12 months for Levels 2–4. The Australian government offers a set number of home care packages, which increases when new releases are announced.
The Aged Care Decisions team are passionate about helping you navigate the aged care assessment process and find a provider that works for you. Call us today on 1300 775 870 to discuss your specific care needs and learn how we can support you on your journey.
All amounts nominated above are current as of 1 July 2023, but are revised twice a year.