Do you have elderly parents living on their own, in their own home? Have you noticed their ability to look after themselves has declined, although certainly not to the extent where you need to consider placing them in residential aged care?
What are your options?
As a first step, you can research the services available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
Your parents will need to talk to a local assessor from the Regional Assessment Service about the care they require and develop a comprehensive support plan to assist and make their life a little easier.
The services available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program are very comprehensive covering domestic assistance, personal care, home maintenance, transport, social support and food services including helping to shop, cook and delivering meals to the home.
A couple of very important points regarding the Commonwealth Home Support Program is that even though the government subsidies a range of services available through this program, you do not need an income assessment – the fees you pay are negotiated between yourself and the provider. Secondly, an assessment carried out by the Regional Assessment Service is quite different and not as comprehensive as an assessment carried out by the Aged Care Assessment Team.
These teams will provide a written assessment of the help required and make a recommendation as to the level of support a person is eligible to receive. The levels are as follows:
- Level 1 supports people with basic needs
- Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs
- Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs
- Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs
The government provides a different amount of subsidy for each level. This amount is paid to the provider that you select. The subsidy contributes to the cost of the service and care, however, depending on your circumstances, you will be required to contribute to the cost of this care.
Your level of contribution will depend on the financial details provided by you to either Centrelink or Veterans Affairs. They will assess your circumstances and based on a complicated formula, advise you in writing of your daily financial contribution. This income-tested amount is on top of the standard contribution of $10.17 per day, which everyone pays regardless of their finances.
If we are able to provide the care and assistance to a person in the home either through the Commonwealth Home Support Program or one of the levels of the Home Care Packages, this should always be the first option.
Source: Mark Teale | Centrepoint Alliance