Home Care Services
Most people want to retire in their own home, and in fact most Government supported aged care is actually delivered in the home, rather than in residential care accommodation.
During the course of 2017–18 over 1.3 million people in Australia received some form of aged care, with the great majority receiving home-based care and support, principally through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care. This is illustrated in the chart below.
MyAged Care - the "Gateway" to Home Support Services
As with residential aged care, the gateway to obtaining government assisted home support is first making contact with MyAgedCare. Following registration and screening they will arrange for an assessment by either a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) - if you require "entry level support" at home - or an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) if there is an expectation that you may require more complex and substantive care. The MyAgedCare contact centre operates nationally from 8am–8pm weekdays and 10am–2pm on Saturdays, and there are about 80 ACAT teams operating throughout Australia.
As illustrated below, the RAS will evaluate eligibility for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the ACAT eligibility for 4 levels of Home Care packages, Residential Aged Care and Transitional Aged Care.
The Cost of Home Care
The Government provides significant support for the various home packages but individuals are required to contribute towards these costs through the payment of 1) a basic fee, which everyone is required to pay, and 2) an income tested care fee which is payable depending upon your level of income.
The Queue for Home Care
The major problem with Home care at the present time (2020) is that their is a very significant queue for services - individuals are placed in a national queue until a package becomes available and is assigned to them. Individuals are placed on the queue according to the date they were approved for home care, and their priority for home care services. They are provided access to a package when they are the next eligible client on the queue at a particular level and priority.