Who Is Eligible
As you become older, living independently in your own home can become more difficult. If you are finding it harder to do the things you were always used to doing, you can ask for help.
Help in the home can be different for different people. It may mean simply getting some assistance with shopping and cooking. Or, it could be receiving personal care with bathing, getting dressed, or getting in and out of bed. Or, it might mean getting modifications done to improve your safety and movement around the house.
Who is eligible for assistance?
Eligibilty is based on need. You may be eligible for services if you have:
- noticed a change in what you are or are not able to do, or what you can or can’t remember
- been diagnosed with a medical condition or reduced mobility
- experienced a recent fall or hospital admission
The Australian Government subsidises the cost of home support services. The cost to you depends on your services and, in some cases, your financial situation.
Two types of care needs for help at home
1. If you are generally able to manage at home, but need support with just a few basic tasks, you could be eligible for subsidised support services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) helps senior Australians access entry-level support services to live independently and safely at home. A Regional Assessment Service (RAS) will do a “home support assessment”.
If you’re being assessed for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you will find out if you are eligible straight away at your assessment.
2. Home Care Packages are for those with greater or more complex care needs. If you need many care and support services on an ongoing basis, you could be eligible for a Home Care Package.
Home Care Packages can provide many different services to meet your needs. Personal care, nursing, meal preparation and diet, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, domestic assistance, home maintenance, transport, social support etc. The higher the needs, the higher the package level, the more funds will be available to cover these services. A comprehensive assessment will be done with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
Your assessor will need to take some time to review the information and to decide whether you are eligible. There is a lot of demand for Home Care Packages, so, although you may be “approved” for a package, there may be a wait before one can be “assigned” to you.
To ensure you can access the help you need at an affordable price, the government subsidises a variety of organisations across Australia. These organisations are called Home Care Service Providers and they have access to government funding. They deliver care and services to you at a subsidised price.
While you are waiting, you might want to start gathering information so that you’re prepared once you are assigned a Home Care Package. Look for a Home Care Service Provider on:
https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/connect-home-care-package-providers or call 1800 200 422
All Home Care Package Providers should be able to offer you the similar types of common services. These include but are not limited to:
- personal care
- cleaning and household tasks
- light gardening, and
- in-home respite.
Home Care Service Providers will provide some of the services themselves, but other services may be outsourced, ie “meal preparation and delivery”, for example, outsourced to Gourmet Meals.
Gourmet Meals is a private service (non-funded), and a “preferred supplier of prepared meals for Aged Care Service Providers. We are not an approved Home Care Service Provider. The HCSP has an agreement with Gourmet Meals to provide the meals to the client, but the HCSP manages the funds available to client. The meals are subsidised by the government and the client only pays a portion of the full price to Gourmet Meals. That subsidy is covered by the client’s Home Care Package.
As a rule, those who are on a Commonwealth Home Support Program are not generally covered for delivery of prepared meals. There are exceptions, of course, but this would be up to the Home Care Service Provider to see if the Program can include this. Gourmet Meals would only be able to deliver the prepared meals under this Program if an agreement is first set up between the Home Care Service Provider and Gourmet Meals.