The Australian Government has a range of funding programmes to help senior Australians. Some of these programmes are targeted to help seniors live independently in their own home for as long as they wish.
The funding made available by the Australian Government comes in a variety of programmes, such as:
Of these programmes, CHSP and HCP are targeted to helping seniors live at home independently for as long they want or can.
In this repository, we will use the words "client", "senior", "care recipient", "consumer" etc, all of which means a senior Australian who is either eligible for or is receiving a CHSP or HCP.
Who are the people and organisations involved in the care of seniors? This is vital, as the Government recognises parties involved in the care of seniors and has certain rules and regulations pertaining to the individual parties, who can be involved in the decision making, who is allowed to receive funds and who can speak on behalf of the client, who can refer the client for funding etc.
Since this is quite involved and there are numerous parties identified by the Government, we cannot list them all. However, as a guide, stakeholders include your representative, your GP and other health professionals, support workers charged with your care services, advocacy services and elder rights groups who may get involved on your behalf, we the provider etc.
Generally the transition into a funded programme commences with a clinical event in the life of a senior Australian. This could be a hospitalisation or a fall or an accident or any other episode which is related age and can have long term effects on the lifestyle of the senior. The party who will most likely refer a senior for a Government funded programme will be hospital staff or the clients GP.
Prior to discharge from hospital, the hospital staff do an evaluation of the client, including consideration of what supports are available at home, and determine whether the client will be able to manage at home with the existing supports. The hospital may then make a recommendation for Transition Care, Short Term Restorative Care or a referral to My Aged Care for a longer term funding package to help the client manage at home or even a referral to admit the client into a RACF.
Transition Care is generally recommended and engaged when the client needs short term specialised care to help them regain independence after a hospital stay. Such care can involve physiotherapy or training and education on how to manage their illness or loss of mobility with requiring help from someone else. It is a short term programme that is funded by the Australian Government and is generally available after a hospital stay.
Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) likewise is, as the name suggests, short term care, delivered generally at the hospital but can also be delivered at home. The objective is to return the client to independence using a sharp burst of multi-disciplinary care such as physiotherapy, hospital in the home service, nursing services etc.
If the clients situation is such that the hospital or GP believe the clients downturn in mobility and/or health is long term and can be best managed at home with the help of some supports, they will make a recommendation to My Aged Care (see our information page on who is My Aged Care and what is their role in your home care) for the client to receive home care.
While the family GP or the hospital are the usual pathways to getting referred for a home care package, they are by no means the only pathways. Any health professional, family member, friend or even the senior Australian can recommend someone for an assessment to a Government funded programme. There is an online form on My Aged Care that can be used to recommend a loved one for access to Government funding. Please use the links below to access the referral form on My Aged Care:
If you are a GP or a Health Professional then this referral form can be used
If you are family friend, or the person who needs help then use this referral form
In our repository here, we will mostly address issues and information surrounding Home Care Packages, as that is the scope of the services that we provide. However, we will also cover aspects of the other programmes where there is a cross-over or inter-dependence between Home Care and the other programmes.
The following diagram depicts the transition into Home Care and a clients progression within Home Care from low care to high care.