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 Residential aged care can be the perfect option for many seniors once they start needing full-time care, but it’s not the only option available. Home care services enable you to stay in your own home longer while receiving care from professionals in the aged care industry. If eligible, you can access the right level of care for your specific care needs through a government-allocated home care package (HCP).

Differences between residential aged care and home care

Both residential aged care and home care packages offer government-subsidised care for seniors. The main difference is that residential aged care is offered at a dedicated facility, while home care services are delivered in the comfort of your own home. Other differences include:

Residential aged care facility

Home care

Your daily care is arranged by the facilityYour daily care is arranged by you and your home care provider (HCP)
The facility offers set activities each day/weekYou and your HCP organise a activities that appeal to you
Your chosen facility receives funding for your care directlyYour chosen HCP manages your approved funds on your behalf
You order meals from a set menuYou and your HCP organise the meals service (if needed)
The aged care facility takes care of everything for youIf you prefer, you can maintain as much independence as desired

If you are eligible for a home care package, you will be allocated funds based on your approved Home Care Package. This is based on your assessed level of care needs. This allows you to spend funds on any in-home care services that meet your specific care needs, as detailed in your plan. You must choose a home service provider to manage your funds on your behalf; however, you can choose which services you would like to use. Learn more about home care packages here.

The expert team at Aged Care Decisions are available to discuss aged care options with you. We can also provide you with a tailored list of aged care services in your area and check current availability for you. Call us on 1300 775 870 or complete our easy registration form.

The government allocated home care packages for 2021–2023

Home care services are becoming quite popular in Australia, and demand has outstripped supply in recent years. This has prompted the government to announce additional home care packages to bring supply more in line with current demand.

The Australian Government had already pledged 33,000 new home care packages for release in 2021 but have now confirmed the release of a further 80,000 HCPs between 2021 and 2023. Approximately 12,000 of these will be allocated to Level 4 HCPs, which provides the highest level of care. Once all have been released, Australia’s senior population will have access to a total of 275,000 home care packages.

Read more about the new release of home care packages here.

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Why do a lot of older Australians choose home care services?

Residential aged care facilities support the elderly by meeting their daily care needs, providing a safe space and offering regular social activities. However, after a lifetime of independence, some seniors can feel overwhelmed when considering giving up their home and becoming dependent on others for their daily care needs. Home care services offer an alternative that is becoming increasingly popular for Australian seniors.

One of the most prominent reasons that older Australians choose home care services is because it enables them to live independently in their own home for longer. In-home care makes this possible by ensuring seniors receive the care they need to stay healthy and safe at home.

Pros and cons of home care services

In-home aged care carries both pros and cons, so it’s worth considering these before making a choice about which aged care service is right for you.

Pros of home care

Cons of home care

Seniors can live independently in their own homeDepending on care needs, the home may need modifications to make it safe
Carers visit frequently to provide tailored care to the individualCarers often change unexpectedly, which can be unsettling for some seniors
The home environment offers familiar comfortAccidents can happen outside of care hours and leave seniors without appropriate care
Family and friends can visit any timeReceiving Home care without the additional stimulation of friends and family visisting can be isolating

 Often, things that are pros for some are cons for others, so it is a good idea to write down a list of your own preferences and needs. If you feel overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes with staying at home, you might feel happier and less stressed in an aged care facility. Likewise, if you enjoy your current social life and feel comfortable in your own home, you might prefer home care services where you can continue to live the lifestyle you have.

Seniors with complex care needs may find the safety and routine of a residential aged care facility to be more beneficial than receiving help at home. They might also enjoy forming new friendships and having access to various social activities. However, some seniors might prefer tailored care at a time that suits them and to live in a familiar environment at home.

How can I access the aged care service that is right for me?

Aged Care Decisions can help make your aged care journey easy and stress-free. Whether it’s comparing aged care facilities near you or chatting about the available options, the Aged Care Decisions team is here to assist you. You can access our free service through our online registration form or by calling 1300 775 870.

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