In Australia much work is being done to support people to stay at home, and part of their communities, for as long as possible. To ensure our Aged Care System is sustainable and affordable long into the future, NSW Health and the Commonwealth Government are working on reforms to improve services for all of our older citizens.
On 1 July 2015 changes were made to the delivery of Home Care Services. The Commonwealth HACC Program was consolidated into the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme provides entry-level home support for older people who need assistance to keep living independently. The CHSP has merged the Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) Program, planned respite from the National Respite for Carers Program, the Day Therapy Centres Program and the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program. This adjustment was to address the fragmentation of the current system and provide focus on wellness, enablement and continuity of care as well as to streamline funding.
Another change was the introduction of home care packages being delivered by consumer directed care (CDC). Previously a specific organisation was awarded funds from the government to provide services to clients. Now it is mandatory that all home care packages be delivered on a consumer directed care (CDC) basis. This means home care clients now have the control in regards to their funds as well as choice for their individual services. Clients are now able to choose how and when their services will be delivered as well as who will be their preferred provider for each service. This method also gives the consumer the option to change their provider if they wish, including if they move to another area to live.
If a person believes they may need some light assistance in the home or a home care package the first step is to contact the My Aged Care contact center. Someone from the Regional Assessment Services (RAS) will ask a few questions to assess eligibility. If light assistance is required they can make a referral to entry-level Home Support Services (CHSP). If a higher level of care is required the person will be referred to an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to identify the appropriate home care package in line with the level of care to meet their needs. Once approval is given the client is placed on a national priority queue. The person will be encouraged to research approved providers to find out the best service for your requirements.
My Aged Care is now the central point of access for aged care services and information in Australia.