Whether considering options for yourself or deciding how best to help someone close to you, aged care is a complex area requiring careful thought. To help you obtain the best outcomes, these guides will take you through the process of applying for, receiving, and paying for the aged care support most suitable for you or your loved one.

This article will look at the type of care available, depending on the outcome of your assessment. From low-level basic care needs, to 24-hour support in a residential aged care home, each stage of support is designed to help you live as independently as possible.

Types of aged care available

After your RAS or ACAT/ACAS assessment (read more about this in Aged Care, Step 1: approval), a confirmation letter will be provided which will identify the type of aged care services you are eligible for.  Whilst your health needs are likely to increase, the key focus of this support is to help you live independently for as long as you can.

Commonwealth Home Support Program

You may have been assessed 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 assessed for a home care package. There are four levels of home care package available, from a package providing basic care needs (level 1) to a package 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 (read more about this in Aged Care, Step 3: fees and funding).

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 assessed 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 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 article, Step 3: fees and funding.

Types of residential 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 homes in your area. You can access the contact details of residential aged care homes plus find a description of their services, costs, and any areas of care speciality they can help with.

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Disclaimer and Warning
The information above is of a general nature only. It should not be used as a source to make financial decisions. It’s also important to note that the legislation and figures related to this topic tend to change regularly and therefore the information above may not reflect the current status. We recommend that if you are looking for advice on this matter, you should contact us.