As each generation enters the second half of life, new lifestyles and different expectations emerge. The current wave of 60-somethings are determined to live independently for as long as possible, and expect quality customised service.
As someone who manages housing and home care services for over 60s, what I hear is that you want to remain in your own home for as long as possible. You still have half a lifetime of living to do, and you have more time now than ever for socialising and travelling.
That means being independent, but you also want security for the future. You tell me that you want support services delivered right to your doorstep, and that you want to retain control over the care and services you receive.
There are some perceptions out there that supported living and home care services take away your independence and may even be the next step towards moving into residential care. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Having support at home means, if anything, you are more likely to live independently for longer, and less likely to move into residential care before you feel ready.
The good news is that Government-subsidised home care packages are affordable, and there are no hidden costs. Services can be anything from gardening to physiotherapy. The fee you pay remains the same, whatever services you access. So if your needs increase, the services you receive can meet those needs without costing you more. This means you can plan for the future and be secure in the knowledge that whatever care you need, unless it becomes clinically acute, can be delivered to you at home.
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It is possible to access home care services without going through a HACC (Home and Community Care) service provider. However, if you are eligible for the Government subsidy, you will have to go through a provider in order to access it.
Either way, having an experienced provider sourcing efficient, high-quality and assured services is a huge benefit. A provider is also able to continually monitor and adapt your services, find someone to fill in if your support worker is off sick, check police clearances and qualifications, and if a problem should arise, they can manage that for you. This all helps you stay in control while taking the worry off your shoulders.
Next year, you will have even more control over the services you receive. Consumer directed care (CDC) is the Government’s response to your demand to have control over the services you receive via funded packages. It will be introduced in July, and we have been involved in the national pilot program to refine the processes.
Even if you only need a bit of help with cleaning or gardening, it’s worth finding out now what you are eligible to receive. Once you have your package in place, any Government subsidy you don’t use now accumulates for future years. So as your needs increase, the funds are still available to help you.
You can find out more here: http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/eligibility-and-assessment/aged-care-services
Would you consider supported home care services? Why or why not? Do you receive them? How have they helped you? Tell us below.