seniors pathway guide

What are my loved one’s options for receiving aged care services at home?

The ability to live at home independently is one of life’s simplest pleasures. However, as we get older, living alone can become increasingly difficult. It may become harder to move around, remember things and go about daily life.

Thankfully, there are a range of home care and short-term care services your loved one can access to prolong their independence and enjoy safe, quality time at home. Some of these services are subsidised by the Australian government.

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Who is eligible for home care services?

Home care services are available to those who have experienced a recent fall, medical diagnosis, hospital admission or change to family care. Those who are having increasing difficulty with normal daily activities, struggling with mobility or remembering things may also be eligible.

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What home care services are available?

There are a range of services that can help your loved one to stay safe, healthy and happy while living at home:

Services to support your loved one’s independence

  • Meals and other food services, including meal delivery and assistance with food preparation
  • Personal care services, including assistance with personal hygiene, grooming, bathing and taking medication
  • Nursing care services to help with managing any relevant medical conditions, such as wound care and diabetes management
  • Allied health services (e.g. occupational therapy, physiotherapy) to assist with maintaining movement and mobility
  • Specialised services to support those with a specific medical condition such as poor vision or dementia

Services to keep your loved one safe at home

  • Domestic assistance to help with household chores including cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping
  • Home maintenance services including gardening and repairing problem areas around the house
  • Home modification services to enable your loved one to move safely around their home, including installing grab rails and ramps or redesigning the bathroom
  • Supplying devices designed to make it easier to move around, complete daily activities, communicate and read (e.g. walking frames, shower chairs and digital devices)

Services to keep your loved one connected to their community

  • Transport to help your loved one attend appointments, activities and run errands, including community transport and vouchers
  • Social support to help your loved one attend social gatherings and keep connected to their family and friends

Government subsidised Home Care Packages are broken down into four levels.

  • Level 1: basic care needs
  • Level 2: low care needs
  • Level 3: intermediate care needs
  • Level 4: high care needs

The amount of funding provided (and therefore the number of services that can be accessed) depends on your loved one’s recommended Home Care Package level.

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What is required to begin receiving home care services?

Your loved one will be required to undergo an ACAT assessment to determine their eligibility for a Home Care Package and understand which level is required.

An ACAT assessment involves a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team meeting with the older person (plus their support person/s) to understand their health care and mobility needs, medical history, what assistance is currently being provided and how they’re managing with everyday tasks. They’ll use the information to complete an Application for Care form, and develop a support plan to make recommendations about the services and care options that will best support your loved one.

The outcome of the ACAT assessment will determine what kind of care your loved one has been approved to receive and whether they are eligible for government assistance.

Your loved one should undergo an ACAT assessment as soon as the need for additional care or services is considered.

With many services and providers available, this can be a daunting decision. The experienced team at Seniors Pathway can be your trusted guide through this process.

Do you need an ACAT assessment? We can submit the referral on your behalf.

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Who can manage my loved one’s home care services?

Managing home care services may be simple to begin with, as only a handful of services may be required, but it can become much more complex as your loved one’s care needs change and their home care requirements increase.

The home care service provider can manage your loved one’s services on their behalf. Alternatively, your loved one can choose to manage their own services.

Need help to choose the best home care provider for you, or to self-manage your Home Care Package? Get personalised support from Seniors Pathway.

Choosing the right home care provider

It’s important to choose a provider that can:

  • deliver the right services
  • understand and support your loved one’s needs (including language or religious needs)
  • assess your needs regularly and identify unmet needs
  • ensure continuity of staff who receive appropriate training
  • communicate well with your loved one and their family
  • negotiate fees.

Need to know more about how much home care costs and if you’re eligible for government subsidies?

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What is respite care?

If you are struggling at home, have just been discharged from hospital or if your carer and/or family need a rest, a period of respite can rejuvenate everyone.

Respite care is flexible and can be delivered in a way that suits your needs.

Types of respite care

  • Community respite

Community respite is offered under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and can be organised to suit any time frame if you’re needing occasional carer support. Community respite refers to centre-based, cottage or flexible respite.

Centre-based respite is available during the day and encourages social interaction, so it usually happens at a day centre, club or residential setting.

Cottage respite is available for 2-3 days at a time, overnight and on weekends. It can be provided in the community or within the home of a host family.

Flexible respite involves a carer coming to your home at a pre-determined time to replace your carer while they are away.

  • Residential respite

Respite care can be delivered for a few days up to several weeks in an aged care home.

  • Emergency respite

If your primary carer is unavailable at short notice, you can contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 or via the Carer Gateway website.

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How can my loved one access respite care?

If your loved one is over 65 (or over 50 if they are an Aboriginal person and/or a Torres Strait Islander) and they require some assistance with daily tasks, they may be able to apply for a face-to-face assessment. Use My Aged Care’s eligibility checker before applying for an assessment to see if your loved one is eligible for this assessment.

If your loved one is eligible, you can apply for an assessment online via the My Aged Care website or by phone on 1800 200 422. Your assessment will determine what kind of care and/or services your loved one is recommended to access and whether they can receive any government subsidies.

With our thorough understanding of Australia’s aged care system and the assessment process, the team at Seniors Pathway can quickly determine which care option will be right for your loved one and help you access it sooner.

Speak to an experienced consultant about accessing respite care.

Let us help you navigate the aged care system and get the best possible outcome for your loved one.

Call our experienced team on (08) 8379 5006 or tell us what you need below.