Who are the programs for?
Anyone over the age of 65 (or 50 if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) can apply for assistance. To access the Australian Government subsidised Help at Home programs (CHSP and HCP), you will need an assessment by the government’s Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Regional Assessment Service.
The assessment process for a government subsidy has two parts – first is an eligibility check that can be done over the phone, or online( https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/am-i-eligible), followed by an assessment at home (which can be organised online at https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/assessment/apply-online )where a trained assessor team will visit you and discuss your needs.
What services can I receive?
There are two main government funded programs that people can apply for:
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP): CHSP is for people who need light assistance to remain independent at home. Contracted providers aid with cleaning, gardening, social support, transport to appointments or accessing community services, and sometimes personal support such as hygiene and grooming. These services are partially funded, or fully funded by the government, depending on your personal situation. Each application is assessed individually.
The Commonwealth Home Care Packages (HCP): HCP are for people who need a little more help, or who have more complex needs. For example, they may need nursing help, social support and cleaning.
If you are not eligible for a government funded program, many providers offer a private or fee-for-service option. These will assist you with accessing the same services, but at an agreed upon rate.
What is the benefit of using a home care service?
Many people who use home care services are living very independent and social lives, and simply need some assistance in certain areas of their lives. The government programs were created as it was realised an aging population may need assistance with tasks such as home maintenance, cleaning and washing, driving to appointments and shopping, or personal medical tasks.
Whether these services are used in a temporary (for example after an injury or illness) or ongoing timeframe, they are designed to help you stay in your own home for as long as safe and practical. Most importantly, these services are flexible and controlled by you. If you are going on a holiday or have a change in circumstances, you can update your services to reflect your needs.
Looking for more information?
Read our articles on “how to choose a Help at Home provider” or “how to apply for Help at Home” for more information.
Alternatively, if you’re considering aged care options for yourself or a loved one, please call us on (08) 8278 0390 for a Help At Home consultation. We are happy to answer any questions you have and assist you with finding the perfect solution for your needs.