Aged care can be a tricky area to navigate, and requires careful thought. To help you or your loved one obtain the best outcomes, this three-part guide will take you through the process of applying for, receiving, and paying for suitable aged care services.
This second part of the series will look at the types of aged care available, depending on the outcome of your assessment. From entry-level care at home, to 24-hour support in a residential aged care facility, each stage of support is designed to give you the help and care that you need.
Types of aged care available
After your ACAT/ACAS or RAS assessment (read more about this in our first Aged Care flyer, Part 1: approval), an approval letter will be provided which will identify the type of aged care services you are eligible for.
Commonwealth Home Support Program
You may have been approved for the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). It is an entry level program for older people who need basic assistance with daily tasks to live independently at home.
You are expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to. Also, you will need to discuss and agree to any fees with relevant service providers before you receive services.
Types of CHSP services available
The types of services you can receive under a CHSP include:
- Domestic assistance with household jobs like cleaning and laundry.
- Social support with activities in a community-based group setting or accompanied activities.
- Meals and food services – shopping for groceries, the preparation of meals or delivering meals to your home.
- Allied health support services – physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology, occupational therapy, advice from a dietician or other allied health and therapy services.
Finding a CHSP provider
Visit the Government’s My Aged Care website (www.myagedcare.gov.au) or phone 1800 200 422 to find CHSP service providers in your area. You can access a list of provider contact details to find out whether a particular provider can suit your needs, how much they cost, and how they provide their services.
Home care packages
You may have been approved for a home care package. There are four levels of home care packages available, from providing basic care needs (level 1) to providing high level care needs (level 4).
Whilst there will be a subsidy that the government will pay towards your home care package (increasing with each package level), you will be expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to. Visit the Government’s My Aged Care website (www.myagedcare.gov.au) for information on how much you could be expected to pay.
Types of home care services available
The types of services you can receive under a home care package include:
- Personal services – assistance with personal activities such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing and undressing, mobility and communication.
- Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet.
- Continence management: assistance in using continence aids and appliances.
- Mobility and dexterity.
- Nursing, allied health and other clinical services – speech therapy, podiatry, occupational or physiotherapy services, hearing and vision services.
- Transport and personal assistance – assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities.
- Management of skin integrity – assistance with bandages, dressings and skin emollients.
Finding a home care service provider
Visit the Government’s My Aged Care website (www.myagedcare.gov.au) or phone 1800 200 422 to find home care service providers in your area, based on level of home care package you have been approved for. You can access a list of provider contact details to find out whether a particular provider can suit your needs, how much they cost, and how they provide their services.
Residential aged care
You may have been approved for services in an aged care home. If you decide this is right for you, it will be helpful to visit these homes so you can see for yourself whether it will provide you with the support you want.
As you visit each aged care home, you may want to make a note of what you liked, didn’t like, and whether you would be happy to live there. This will help you decide which home would be most suitable. There may be different fees associated with each home, and these are explained in more detail in our next guide, Part 3: fees and funding.
Types of residential aged care services available
Aged care homes can help you with:
- Day-to-day tasks (such as cleaning, cooking, laundry).
- Personal care (such as dressing, grooming, going to the toilet).
- 24-hour care under the supervision of a registered nurse.
- Accessing a variety of additional services such as physiotherapy (exercises, mobility, strength and balance) or podiatry (foot care).
Finding an aged care home
Visit the Government’s My Aged Care website (www.myagedcare.gov.au) or phone 1800 200 422 to help you find aged care homes in your area. You can access the contact details of homes plus find a description of their services, costs, and any areas of care speciality they can help with.