When we hear the term “aged care,” it can bring to mind thoughts of challenges associated with aging. However, aged care serves as a valuable support system for individuals who may require assistance or feel in need of additional support. It provides a helping hand when we seek guidance or companionship during this stage of life.
Living in a country like Australia, with its robust Human Services system, one can’t help but appreciate the support available for aged care. The Australian government subsidises home support services and aged care, providing assistance to individuals facing challenges associated with family issues, single parenthood, disability, or old age. This comprehensive system includes government-assisted age pensions, healthcare benefits, carer benefits, and allowances for those in need of additional support. Australians are fortunate to have access to such a well-regarded system, often the envy of other nations.
The Australian government subsidises the cost of home support services and aged care services. With so much to discuss about aged care, we may wonder where to begin. So, let’s embark on a journey of learning together!
After all, we will all age one day, and it’s normal to require assistance with daily tasks and access the right support to maintain independence for as long as possible. Aged care comes into play when we need help at home or when we consider moving to aged care homes due to a blessed long life but requiring additional support, or as a caregiver, when we seek a suitable place for our aging parents with disabilities.
Whether you’re considering aged care for yourself, a parent, or a relative, the first step is understanding what services can help you remain in your own home or what to expect in an aged care facility. Then comes determining eligibility and estimating potential costs.
There are various types of care available, including:
- Keeping your home liveable
- Keeping you well
- Getting out and staying social
- Receiving temporary assistance
- Residential care
This article will focus on one type of care, and upcoming articles will cover the remaining types.
Depending on the services needed to enable independence at home, you can check eligibility for subsidised aged care and apply for the assessment process.
For example, if you’re having difficulty showering and using the toilet due to falls, and you wish to continue living in your current home without having to rely on constant assistance, you’ll require a service that helps you regain confidence and feel comfortable using the shower and toilet without fear of falling.
In such a case, an assessor can arrange for an occupational therapist to conduct a home assessment. Meanwhile, short-term support can be provided, along with recommendations for safety equipment to rebuild confidence and ensure comfort when using the bathroom independently. This service aids in maintaining personal well-being, hygiene, self-confidence, and overall mobility and independence at home.
Similarly, depending on the services required to maintain independence and comfort at home, you can consult with an assessor to check their availability.
Therefore, it is crucial to understand the services you require to live your life to the fullest and then determine your eligibility. Eligibility is based on need, and you may qualify for services if you have:
- Experienced a change in your capabilities or memory
- Been diagnosed with a medical condition or reduced mobility
- Faced changes in family care arrangements
- Recently experienced a fall or hospital admission
Services can be accessed through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or a Home Care Package, and an assessment process will determine the most suitable program for you. There are two types of care available for home assistance, and individuals can only receive one of the following services to ensure support is available to as many people as possible:
- Entry-level care: Commonwealth Home Support Programme
- More complex care: Home Care Packages.