Aged Care



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Aged Care Melbourne

Simply Helping provides a range of aged care services to our population. They include Companion Care, Gardening, Home Help, Home Maintenance, Personal Care, Respite Care and Transport/Escort to appointments. This suite of services can be found in detail under “Other Services” on the Navigation Bar.

For your information, here is an overview on changes around government subsidised in-home care following the recently introduced aged care reforms.

GOVERNMENT SUBSIDISED SERVICES

From 27 February, 2017, Age Care in Victoria reforms have been introduced which now gives you, the client, the choice of care and support within your home. Tap here for other state and territory government aged care agencies.          Now tap the web site you want to visit:

          N. S. W. Aged Care Services

          Queensland Aged Care

          Tasmania Home and Community Care

          South Australia In-home Care

          West Australia Home and Community Care

          A. C. T. Health

          Northern Territory Aged Care Services

There are two government-subsidised supported Home Care Services, but you are asked to pay something towards the cost of the service. The amount you are asked to contribute depends on your income, assets and circumstances.

Tap here for the short meaning of some of the government agency’s names.          CHSP is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. It was known as the HACC
          which stood for the Health and Community Care programme.

          RAS is the Regional Assessment Service, also subsidised by the Federal Government.

          The HCP (Home Care Packages) is another federally-funded programme and offers four levels of support.

  1. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) [formerly known as HACC programme] is usually provided through the shires. This programme provides support services for older people who need short-term or basic assistance. This service is subsidised by government, but there may be some fees to pay.

Regional Assessment Service

Before you’re able to get CHSP services, a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) assessment is needed. They will visit you at home to assess what services you can use. Contact My Aged Care for a referral to RAS.

With the CHSP, you:

  • choose from a set menu of services – there isn’t much flexibility
  • only pay for the services you use
  • can dip in and out of the programme as you need things.
  1. The Home Care Packages (HCP) programme – more or longer-term support.
    This programme provides more complex, coordinated and personalised care at home. It offers four levels of care packages to progressively support people with basic, low, intermediate and high care needs. It can include personal care, support services, nursing, allied health and clinical services. 

Should you like further advice, tap here to send us an e-mail about Home Care Packages.

Aged Care Assessment

To find out if you are eligible for government subsidised home care, you require an Aged Care Assessment. There is no fee or charge for an aged care assessment.

To organise an assessment, you need to call My Aged Care which is a government portal for any older person seeking care.  Telephone 1800 200 422. Interpreters are available, if required.

My Aged Care staff will organise an assessment for you in your home depending on your need.  After you have been assessed, you will receive a letter outlining what service you are eligible for and how to go about organising your care.

If you are not satisfied with the assessment, you can seek a review of the decision. You must do that in writing within 28 days of receiving your letter from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

Engaging an Approved Provider

If you have been assessed as being eligible for a Home Care Package, you can decide if you want to take up the package  and contact providers to find out if the services they offer meet your needs. These providers must be approved by the government. Once you have chosen an approved provider, you can then choose to have them manage your funds and provide the actual services, or you can request another service provider to provide the actual services that best suit your needs. The choice is YOURS.

To find an approved provider call My Aged Care.

With a Home Care Package:

  • a case manager or case adviser helps you understand the system and work out a Care Plan
  • you decide how to spend the funding you get, rather than choosing from a menu
  • you will receive a monthly statement which will include the following- income, including your contributions and the government contribution, itemised expenditures, including charges for services received and any other charges such as administration and case management fees, and balance and the unspent funds, including any contingency fund.

Some providers bundle charges together into one hourly rate (called a ‘unit cost’). You can ask for an explanation of how they have come to this amount and a breakdown of the costs.

  • once you have a package, it stays in place for the long term.
  • you will sign a Home Care Agreement which outlines the roles and responsibilities of you and your provider.
Cost and value for money 

What you pay

There are two types of fees you may be asked to pay: the basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee.

Your provider may ask you to pay a basic daily fee. This amount is added to your budget and boosts what you can spend on care and support. Different providers charge different basic daily fees. Some providers have no fee and some use a sliding scale. You can negotiate with your provider about what basic daily fee you pay.

If your income is above a certain amount, you must pay an income-tested care fee. Your income-tested care fee is assessed by Centrelink and increases the higher your income is. The government subsidy for your package is reduced by the same amount as your income-tested care fee. Both of these fees are the same no matter what level of package you are on. There are also supplements for people in remote areas and with specific needs, such as dementia support.

Affording care

If you’re worried about costs, you can get free, confidential and independent financial advice from the Department of Human Services Financial Information Service. Find more information on the Financial Information Service web page or telephone 132 300 to make an appointment. If you can’t afford to pay, you may be able to get government financial hardship assistance.

Value for money

Whether a Home Care Package is good value for money for you depends on your circumstances – everyone’s situation is different. Part-pensioners and self-funded retirees will have to contribute more, but a Home Care Package may still be worthwhile. Some things to consider are:

  • what your care and support needs are
  • whether you have others that can help you to manage at home
  • whether you would be better off financially paying for services privately
  • how much you have to contribute versus how much the government will subsidise.

Direct services, goods and equipment

It can be worth comparing your provider’s charges for services, goods and equipment to what you could buy privately. For example, some people use their package funds for allied health services, but find better value for other services, like garden maintenance and cleaning, in the private market.

Administration and case management fees

Administration and case management fees vary between providers. Although the government caps the Income-Tested Care Fee, it doesn’t control provider fees. You can ask other providers for a list of their fees and compare these with what your provider charges. Be aware that some providers charge a higher ‘unit cost’, which is all-inclusive, whereas others have a lower unit cost but add administration and case management fees.

Independent financial advice

If you’re concerned about finances, the government’s Financial Information Service can give you free, confidential and independent financial advice. Telephone 132 300 and when prompted, say ‘Financial Information Service’

Should you like further advice, tap here to send us an e-mail about Home Care Packages.



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