24 October 2018
Navigating Aged Care Services – By Interchange Australia Operations Manager, Anne-Marie Kennedy
For the majority of people their home is their castle and is where they feel most comfortable. Even when the ageing process takes hold and managing at home independently becomes increasingly difficult, older Australians want to remain in their own homes. Options include engaging private services such as cleaners to help maintain the household.
Not everyone has the financial capacity to pay for private services, so to bridge this gap, the Australian Government offers eligible people over 65 years of age the opportunity to access subsidised assistance. There are two main types of subsidised services including the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP).
CHSP is designed for people who only need a bit of help such as assistance with heavier cleaning tasks they can no longer manage like mopping and vacuuming. Other people may no longer be able to drive so need support to get to the shops to do grocery shopping and run simple errands. Approved organisations receive funding to provide CHSP services in specific local government areas and generally request a small hourly contribution towards services.
HCPs are designed for people who have more complex needs and require a package of services including personal and home help, nursing and therapies to assist them to remain living at home. HCPs are available in 4 levels and are allocated according to need with Level 1 for people with lower needs through to Level 4 for people with complex needs. HCPs are means tested and approved providers require a statement from Centrelink to determine contributions. Unlike CHSP however, HCPs are attached to the individual who can choose a provider Australia wide.
The pathway to access aged care services is through My Aged Care where people are phone screened for eligibility and then, if deemed eligible, are referred for an in home assessment either by an assessor from a Regional Assessment service if needs are low or by an assessor from an Aged Care Team if needs are more complex.
Come July 2020 CHSP and HCPs will be amalgamated into Home Care Packages in order to streamline the aged care system. At this stage there is little information available on how this will be rolled out. In the meantime however, Interchange Australia is an approved provider of both CHSP services in the Wingecarribee Shire and HCPs nationally.
If you would like further information on aged care services please contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 112 334. You can also contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.