Keeping your independence by living in your home as you age is a goal for many. However, the reality is that you may need a little help with cleaning, meals, transport and nursing care later in life.

Commonwealth Home Support Programme

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme can help you stay in your home longer. It provides a range of entry-level aged care services for older people who need assistance living independently at home and in their community. These services include housework, personal care, meals and food preparation, transport, shopping, allied health and social support.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible, you will need to register with My Aged Care and undertake a short phone assessment to determine the type of support you require. If low level care is suitable, you will need to undergo a home support assessment conducted by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS). An RAS assessor will determine your age suitability1 and your capacity to perform basic activities in your daily living without the need for extra help. After the assessment, the assessor will work with you to create a support plan2 to address your needs.

What types of support can you access?

Services can be provided to you at home and in your community.

These include:

1. Community
  • Social support – help with joining support groups and social or recreational activities.
  • Transport – help with transport to and from home for shopping or appointments. This may be through a transport service or vouchers and subsidies for taxis.
2. Home
  • Domestic assistance – help with household jobs like cleaning, dishwashing, clothes washing, ironing and shopping.
  • Home maintenance – help with home repairs and garden maintenance.
  • Home modification – help with the installation of minor safety aids (such as support rails in your home, as well as ramps).
  • Personal care – help with moving about the house, eating, dressing, bathing and toileting.
  • Nursing care – a qualified nurse comes to your home to help, for example, with checking aspects of your health (such as your blood pressure and heart rate), treatments (such as changing wound dressings) and managing your medicines.
3. Community or home
  • Food services – help with meals and shopping.
  • Allied health support services – help from health professionals such as physiotherapists, podiatrists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists and dietitians.

Organising services

If your RAS assessment deems you eligible, they will work with you to decide which service providers may suit your needs. You can research service providers that are in your local area by using the My Aged Care service finder or by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Costs

The Australian Government provides funding, but you may need to contribute towards the cost of your package if it is determined that you can afford to do so. Fees and your potential eligibility for Government support, are discussed and then agreed upon between you and the service provider prior to you accessing services.

It’s important to note that an income assessment isn’t required to access the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and the Government’s contributions to the cost of your services don’t affect your Age Pension.

Preparing for your future 

The purpose of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme is to provide you with a selection of services to help you remain living independently and safely at home. Depending on your circumstances, this may be enough to meet your needs. However, if you do require an increased level of care then there are other services available to you such as home care packages and residential aged care.

For more information on accessing aged care services in retirement, speak to an EISS Financial Planner. To make an appointment call 02 9046 1920 or visit eisuper.com.au/appointment

 


1 Typically, individuals that are either: 65 years and over; 50 years and older and on a low income, homeless or at risk of homelessness; or 50 years and over and identified as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

A support plan documents your strengths, goals and motivations and also contains the agreed recommendations for support and your assigned priority rating (based on your level of function, the level of risk in relation to the care situation and any other concerns that are relevant to your situation).

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