Understanding eligibility for home support: What services can you access?

Jul 29, 2023
When it comes to accessing home support services in Australia, it's important to understand the differences between the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages. Source: Getty

As we age, maintaining our independence and well-being becomes increasingly important. Home support services play a crucial role in ensuring that retirees can continue living comfortably in their own homes while receiving the assistance they need. These services encompass a wide range of support, from help with household chores to personal care and healthcare services. 

By understanding the eligibility criteria for home support services, individuals aged 60 and above can access the appropriate assistance tailored to their needs. 

Privately Funded Services for Individuals Over 60

Government-funded programs are unfortunately not available to seniors aged 60 to 65. For those in that age range, privately funded services can offer personalised assistance to help you maintain independence and well-being.

Examples of these services include gardening assistance to keep your outdoor space safe, neat and tidy, cleaning services for household chores and a clean living environment, and specialised care from podiatrists and physiotherapists to address health needs and improve overall well-being.

Nutrition should also be a priority, with privately funded services offering meal delivery options tailored to specific dietary needs.

These services are designed to cater to the unique needs of those aged over 60, allowing them to maintain a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle while receiving necessary support. By utilising these services, retirees can continue living independently and enjoy their daily activities with ease.

Government Assistance for Individuals Over 65

The government provides assistance programs for seniors aged 65 and above to help them maintain their well-being and independence. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme offers subsidised assistance to those with low care needs, while Home Care Packages provide higher levels of care. Both programs require an assessment to determine the level of care needed. Accessing these programs can provide seniors with the necessary support to continue living in their homes and communities.

Services Available through CHSP and Home Care Packages

Both the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages offer a wide range of services to support seniors in their daily lives. These services are designed to meet their unique needs and help them maintain independence and well-being.

You can access services like gardening, home maintenance, and cleaning through both programs. These services take care of tasks around the house, ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment. From mowing the lawn to fixing minor repairs and keeping the house clean, these services can make life easier and provide peace of mind.

Meal preparation and delivery options are also available. Whether you have difficulty cooking or grocery shopping, these services ensure you have nutritious and delicious meals. Freshly prepared meals or convenient delivery options give you a variety of food choices that meet your dietary needs.

If you need help with shopping or transportation, both programs provide assistance. Whether it’s grocery shopping, running errands, or getting to medical appointments, these services help you stay connected and independent.

Social support and respite care services are there to keep you engaged and provide relief to caregivers. Social activities and outings reduce loneliness and isolation, while respite care allows caregivers to take a break while you receive the care you need.

Occupational therapy, physiotherapy and podiatry services address health and mobility needs. Occupational therapy helps you perform daily activities independently, while physiotherapy focuses on physical strength and mobility health and necessary treatments.

Home modifications can make your home safer and more accessible. Installing grab bars, ramps, and other equipment can enhance mobility and reduce the risk of falls.

The variety of support options ensures that you receive services specific to your needs. Whether it’s household tasks, meals, transportation, social engagement, or healthcare support, these programs are here to provide comprehensive care tailored to you.

Understanding the Differences: CHSP vs Home Care Packages

When it comes to accessing home support services in Australia, it’s important to understand the differences between the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages. Here’s what you need to know:

CHSP is a government-subsidised assistance program for individuals with low care needs. It offers services like domestic assistance, personal care, social support, and home maintenance. The focus is on helping you maintain independence and well-being at home.

Home Care Packages provide higher levels of care and are designed for individuals with more complex needs. These packages offer a wider range of services, including personal care, nursing support, allied health services, and home modifications. They provide comprehensive assistance for those with higher care needs.

To access these programs, you’ll need to go through a referral and assessment process. The CHSP assessment is done by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS), while Home Care Packages require an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. These assessments determine your level of care needed and eligibility for the programs.

Keep in mind that there may be waiting times for Home Care Package allocation, and financial contributions may be required based on your income and assets. However, these contributions are assessed on an individual basis.

Understanding these differences allows you to make informed decisions about the level of support you require. Whether it’s entry-level support through the CHSP or comprehensive care provided by a Home Care Package, both programs aim to help you live comfortably and independently in your own home.

Next Steps and Additional Considerations

Now that you have a better understanding of home support eligibility and available services, here are a few important next steps to consider:

If you feel like you would benefit from some of the above supports, ask your GP for a referral to My Aged Care for an assessment. You can also do this yourself or lean on the support of your family or aged care navigator services. Next, seek financial advice from an accredited planner. They can guide you on managing costs, and making informed financial decisions.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles in this series that delve deeper into topics like accessing aged care services, and maintaining overall well-being.

You have the power to take control of your home support journey. With the right information and support, you can make choices that align with your needs and preferences. 

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