Boosting independence and mobility in your own home


Getting help enables you or a loved one to continue to live independently in your own home for as long as possible. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Key Points


  • Government subsidised support services help people grow older in their own home
  • Services aim to keep you independent, mobile and healthy
  • Services are provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages

Senior Australians overwhelmingly want to stay in their own home for as long as possible as they grow older. While residential aged care has its place, especially for those with chronic medical conditions, there are government subsidised and private support services available.

Government subsidised services are paid for in part by the Australian taxpayer. What will need to be paid out-of-pocket will depend on an individual’s services and, in some cases, their financial situation. 

Support services


Government-subsidised services you or your loved one may be eligible for can include:

  • Help with food preparation, showering or dressing, and managing medications.
  • Cleaning, home maintenance, and mobility aids to help keep you safe at home.
  • Transport to appointments or activities, in-home social calls, and group activities to help you continue to interact with your community.

You can receive government-subsidised help at home through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, or through a Home Care Package. To find out which program you or your loved one is eligible for, you need to apply for an assessment.

Eligibility


To be eligible for services an individual must have: 

  • Noticed a change in what they can do or remember.
  • Been diagnosed with a medical condition or reduced mobility.
  • Experienced a change in family care arrangements.
  • Experienced a recent fall or hospital admission.

You can learn more about assessment eligibility requirements, read more about the assessment process, or apply for an assessment via the My Aged Care website or call them on 1800 200 422.

Types of in-home care


1. Entry-level care - Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

If you or your loved one are able to manage, but need support with a few tasks, you could be eligible for subsidised support services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

This program aims to help those who need a low level of support to keep living independently and is recommended to those who only need one or two services.

CHSP costs and fees 

Individuals are expected to contribute towards the cost of their care, if they can afford to. A few things to keep in mind are:

  • Service providers charge different amounts for their services.
  • The Australian Government funds providers to keep costs affordable and individuals won’t be asked to cover the full cost of services.
  • If an individual can’t afford to pay a contribution, they can still get help by talking to provider.

You can learn more about CHSP fees or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme via the My Aged Care website.

2. More complex care - Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages are for people with greater or more complex care needs. If you or your loved one need many care and support services on an ongoing basis, you could be eligible for a Home Care Package.

HCP Costs and fees 

Individuals are expected to contribute to the cost of their care if they can afford it. The cost of a Home Care Package is paid, in part, through a contribution by the Australian Government.

Individuals may have to pay: 

  • A basic daily fee, or;
  • A basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee.

There may also be additional fees if the individual agrees to pay for extra care and services that aren’t covered by their Home Care Package. These fees form part of their package budget and must be included in their Home Care Agreement.

You can learn more about home care fees and Home Care Packages on the My Aged Care website.

Can the government find a provider?


Yes. If you or your loved one has been assessed and found eligible for aged care, your assessor can send a referral to the relevant provider(s). However, the provider will need to be able to provide the services you are seeking in your area to accept the referral. You can also search for a provider on the My Aged Care website.

Can I get Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Package (HCP) services at the same time?


The government’s answer is generally, no. This ensures that services reach as many people as possible. If you or your loved one is receiving a Home Care Package, it also means your care and services are paid through a single budget.

There are some special circumstances where you or your loved one can access short-term CHSP services while receiving a HCP and your budget is fully allocated. Talk to your assessor first to see what options are available. To find out more, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Source: Australian Government My Aged Care