When people have to consider Aged Care for the first time, their mind often turns to Aged Care Homes. However, there are many Aged Care options in Australia and they are much more flexible and accessible than you may think.
Everyone’s needs are different
The federal government, state governments and Aged Care sector recognise that a one-model fix-all approach will not work.
Indeed, the past decade has seen more and more awareness that not only does there need to be a range of options and approaches, but wherever possible, the users of the services should have as much control over the decision-making as possible.
While the system is not perfect, it continues to move in the right direction, with increasing awareness that everyone’s needs are different, and everyone has the right to make the decisions that best suit their personal, medical and financial situations.
Help in your own home
As people age or suffer from conditions such as dementia, familiarity becomes more and more important to them, particularly as many aspects of their life become muddled. That’s why having care provided in your own home for as long as you possibly can is an ideal option.
You can choose to pay for Home Care privately and avoid the lengthy queues, or you can apply for government subsidised Home Care, known as the Home Care Package Program. Whether you’re paying for Home Care out of your own pocket, or you’re lucky enough to have a Home Care Package, the services accessible to you include:
- personal care e.g. assistance getting dressed
- transport to shops, medical appointments and social activities
- simple modifications to the home, including hand rails and ramps
- nursing and physiotherapy
- assistance taking medication
- preparing and serving meals
- household jobs such as cleaning and gardening
- provision of mobility equipment such as walking frames
- linking with local community groups and social activities.
As the needs of the person requiring care get more challenging, the government subsidies increase. The aim is to postpone or remove the need to access long-term care outside the home for as long as possible.
Having care provided in one’s own home, for as long as possible, is as close to an ideal outcome as one can get.
Contact CareAbout or My Aged Care for more information.
Transition care is special care given to older people who have been in hospital but require further care after being discharged. This care can be provided in the person’s own home or in a separate ‘live-in’ setting attached to an Aged Care Home or health facility.
It is not permanent care and acts as a transition while decisions are made about the best long-term care. Transition care can only be accessed directly from hospital.
Transition care provides services such as:
- low-intensity therapy and care
- access to a social worker
- nursing support for basic clinical care
- personal care.
Transition care generally lasts for 12 weeks but this can be extended to 18 weeks if the person is assessed as requiring more care.
Caring for a loved one can be difficult, both emotionally and physically. Every carer needs a break. Respite care provides assistance for carers, giving them a break from caring duties. This assistance can involve a care worker:
- providing short-term care in the home, including overnight stays
- taking the person who requires care on an outing
- arranging social activities for the person who requires care, including transporting them to and from such activities.
For longer respite for the carer, arrangements can be made for the person being cared for to be accommodated in a residential care home for a short-stay.
Contact CareAbout or My Aged Care for more information.
Aged Care Homes
The decision to place a loved one in an Aged Care Home is not an easy one. It can bring with it feelings of guilt and a huge responsibility. It is certainly a decision you should take your time making.
Even before you dive into visiting and comparing aged care options, there are things you need to consider, such as location and affordability. Your time is precious and there is no point pursuing options that are too far away or out of your affordability range.
You also want to ensure the Home you choose can cater to your loved one’s needs now and in the future.
There are three main types of Aged Care Homes:
- Low-level care facilities are suitable for people who need some care assistance but are still mobile and able to care for themselves to some degree. They may require assistance with washing and personal care, laundry, cooking, shopping or supervision of medications.
- High-level care facilities provide 24-hour nursing care with nurses, assistants and/or personal care assistants available at all times. They are most suitable for people in the later stages of dementia, or with additional medical conditions.
- Dementia-specific facilities are designed specifically for people with dementia. They are best suited to people with dementia who have additional special care needs.
When the time comes to start selecting an Aged Care Home, it is a good idea to create a checklist of questions and required information.
You’ll find some suggested questions in Choosing the right Aged Care Home.
You can also contact CareAbout for more information
Short-term restorative care
Short-term restorative care aims to help people stay independent by improving their ability to manage everyday tasks, or delay or avoid the need for long-term care.
Short-term restorative care is available at home, in the community, in an Aged Care Home or a combination of these three. There are many services available, ranging from help with personal care and household duties to accommodation in residential care.
Short-term restorative care is available for up to 56 days and can be accessed twice over 12 months.
Contact My Aged Care for more information.
How to get started
Navigating the aged care system in Australia can appear daunting. Don’t let that stop you talking the vital first step. Get in touch with CareAbout and find out what your options are.