What are the options for home care in Australia?

Oct 22, 2019
Home care is a popular option for many elderly Australians need some extra help in their house. Source: Getty

Losing your independence is tough at any age so it’s understandable that your parents might be resistant to the idea of moving into an aged care home. If that is the case, then it could be time to think seriously about hiring a carer to offer help and support to your mum or dad in the comfort of your own home.

Welcoming someone into your home can be challenging though, so it’s important to consider all of the options and choose the services or My Aged Care package that would best suit their needs.

So, to ease some of the stress and pressure this huge life change can cause, we’ve done some of the hard work for you and detailed what home care options are currently available around the country, hopefully giving you a better idea of which direction to take.

What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

In Australia, there are two different care options available through the government, the first of which is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. This is ideal for parents who are beginning to find some of their everyday tasks a little difficult, but don’t want to lose their independence completely.

Generally, services are offered on a short-term or ongoing basis to enhance a patient’s wellbeing and quality of life, and the type of care that can be provided is vast.

What are Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages would be best suited to those who require extra support for more complex care needs that cannot be provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. This is a better option if your parent needs a more coordinated approach to their home help due to specific health issues.

Your mum or dad’s level of care will be ranked from one to four, with one being the lesser level of care needed and four the highest. The services provided across all levels are the same but the number of times a carer attends the home each week increases depending on the tier.

What services are provided?

Whether your parent just needs a helping hand with chores around the house or assistance with specific health issues, there are plenty of options available to suit their needs.

The following services are available from providers across the country, through both the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and the Home Care Package.

For health:

  • Meal delivery and assistance with food preparation
  • Tending to personal care e.g. help with bathing, taking medication and getting in and out of bed
  • General nursing duties for medical conditions
  • Podiatry, occupational therapy, physiotherapy

For safety:

  • Domestic assistance such as house cleaning, clothes washing and ironing and shopping
  • Home maintenance including fixing uneven flooring, installing security lights and keeping the yard clean and tidy
  • Installation of grab rails, ramps and bathroom redesign
  • Assistance with goods, equipment and assistive technology including shower chairs and walking frames

For social and communication:

  • Transport through driver service or travel vouchers and subsidies
  • Assistance maintaining social life through in-home calls, phone and internet communication services and group social activities.

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Does your mum or dad receive support through home care? Is it something you are considering for them?

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