Ageing and aged care in Australia
The number of people aged 65 and over in Australia is projected to more than double, to 8.8 million, over the next 40 years(1). This will undoubtedly increase the need for aged care in the community and put pressure on families and Government funding.
Receiving help at home
Initially, for most people, receiving care at home is the most convenient and the least unsettling option. There are two levels of support.
1. Entry-level support: the Commonwealth Home Support Programme
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) can provide ongoing or short-term care and support services including planned respite care to give you or your carer a break, help with housework, personal care, meals and food preparation, transport, shopping, health and social support.
To access the CHSP, you need to have a home support assessment completed by a local assessor from a Regional Assessment Service (RAS)(2). The RAS assessor will work with you to develop a support plan that reflects your entry-level aged care needs, goals and preferences.
The Government subsidises a range of services to keep fees affordable. An income and assets assessment is not required to access these services. You will simply need to discuss and agree any fees with the service provider.
2. Complex support: the Home Care Packages Program
When your aged care needs increase, you can be reassessed to receive a Home Care Package to meet your specific care needs within the home.
An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will assess your Home Care Package needs. In Victoria, this is called Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS). There are four levels of Home Care Packages to meet an individual’s care needs ranging from basic to high.
The Government provides a different subsidy amount for each level of Home Care Package. You will need to contribute to the cost of your care if your income level, including any Age Pension that you or your partner are receiving, exceeds certain thresholds. This is called the Income-Tested Care Fee and it is capped at $14.96 per day for part pensioners and $29.92 per day for self- funded retirees.
Aged care can be complex and, like other financial decisions, your family can make suitable arrangements as well as good financial decisions.
If you or a loved one needs aged care, please contact the team at Omnis Financial Planning in Subiaco Perth on 08 9380 3555 and we can help.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice and does not take into account any of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before you make a decision about whether to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement. NEO Financial Solutions: AFSL 385845 ABN 64 141 607 098.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare ‘Australia’s welfare 2017: in brief’ 19 October 2017.
- The RAS does not operate in Victoria and Western Australia. The My Aged Care contact centre can assist you in these states to find assessors in your local area.