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Keeping your independence – A guide to home care options

As with most developed countries, the population of Australia is aging. This should not come as a surprise, as the combination of sustained fertility and prolonged life expectancy has resulted in the average age of Australians increasing from 34 in 1996, to 37 in 2016.  

With an aging population, care must be taken to ensure that the elderly community has the proper care processes available to them. This can sometimes come as a challenge, as with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the appropriate one. Here is a short guide to the home care options available to the elderly community in Australia. Whether there is a person in your life who currently requires care, or if you would like to start planning for the future, this guide is worth reviewing.

What is home care?

There are many options available for those who require care in Australia. These depend heavily on the age, and restrictions of the person in question. Home care is an attractive option for those who require basic assistance, who prefer the comforting atmosphere of home. Home Care Packages are available for people seeking this level of care, and can be catered to provide basic or high level assistance. Those requiring constant high-level care, should consider a live-in carer, or the prospect of living in an elderly care facility.

Is it necessary?

If it is becoming more difficult to complete everyday tasks, then you or your loved one should consider home care. It should also be considered if a carer will be temporarily absent, or care is only required for a short amount of time. Even tasks such as cleaning and gardening can be taken care of.

Are there any extra costs?

Government funds are available for services required by eligible Australians. If you are over 65 years, (50 if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) then you may be able to access these funds. In order to assess eligibility for this funding, a face to face assessment will be required, and can be booked through the My Aged Care Website.

If you are not eligible for this funding, then privately funded services will be available to you. Out of pocket costs for these services can be tricky to predict, as there is no standard cost for aged care services. Financial situations, level of care required and the cost of the provider will all determine what your out of pocket cost will be. The best path is to begin with an eligibility assessment and determine your next step from there.

Special Considerations.

There are special considerations for Australians who are a part of certain communities. These Australians will receive access to resources that allow them to obtain the same level of care as the wider Australian community. These funds are available for eligible individuals from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, the LGBQI community, veterans, and many more. For more information, please see the My Aged Care website.

So there we have it, a short guide to the home care options available for the elderly community in Australia. For questions, or further information on funding and other options available, contact the Department of Health and Human Services, or My Aged Care.

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