We may reach a certain point in our lives when we realise we need a little extra assistance in life, a helping hand you might say. But what options are available? Can I stay in my own home? Am I eligible for government assistance? We explore the commonly asked questions to help you navigate this next phase in life.
My Aged Care (link to https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/) is a government initiative that is your starting point on your aged care journey. It helps introduce you to the different types of care available to help you stay in your own home or what to expect in an aged care home. It also provides you with a list of providers that are government funded.
Once you have explored the services that are available to you on the website, you may want to find out if you are eligible for subsidised aged care because as you will discover there is a hefty price tag associated with assistance services. This is easily done through a two-part assessment process that understands your needs in greater detail and what services could help you.
To get started you need to find out if you are eligible for a face-to-face assessment. There are two ways you can check your eligibility- by phoning the My Aged Care hotline on 1800 200 422 or by applying online (link to https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/assessment/apply-online). The process takes around 15 to 20 minutes to complete and can be done by yourself or on your behalf by a family member or friend.
Overall, there are three parts to this assessment. The first step checks your eligibility (to see if you need help with your regular tasks), the second captures your details and the third confirms when an assessor will call to arrange the face-to-face assessment.
The third stage will be completed in your own home. A case worker will determine if you are eligible for the recommended home care or aged care support and the nature of funding you can access for support.
The Commonwealth Home Support program offers government funded services through a preferred service provider list. You can have a service provider nominated to you by your consultant or if you would prefer you can contact the providers on the list to see who you feel most comfortable with. The services may commence quickly, however, there often is a delay if the service provider has insufficient funding to accept further clients.
Home Care packages are another way older Australians can access care and services at home. They are designed for people with more complex care needs that go beyond what the Commonwealth Home Support Program can provide.
There are four levels of home care package funding you may be offered. The more complex your needs, the greater the funding. However, generally, the funding is designed to assist with:
● Services to keep you well and independent – including personal care, nursing services and allied health.
● Services to keep you safe in your home – including cleaning, home maintenance and modifications and assistive technology.
● Services to keep you connected to your community – including transport and social support.
The Home Care Package Program works a little differently because you choose any approved service provider that is right for you and the government pays your provider a subsidy to arrange a package of care and services designed with you to meet your needs. You will also be expected to contribute to the cost of your care if Centrelink identifies that you have an independent income. This will all be determined through your face-to-face assessment with My Aged Care and Centrelink.
We understand that it can be challenging to access home care and navigate the Home Care Package Program. Our expert consultants are available to help guide you through the process of applying, planning for the assessment and the wait process for the funding to become available. We also offer interim support while you go through the process. To find out more (link to https://seniorhelpers.com.au/home-care/).