When it comes to your retirement, it’s important to consider the chapters you will progress through, and plan accordingly with regard to your time, work, finances, housing and care needs.
From a care needs perspective, in your retirement years, a time may arise when you need to ask for help with looking after yourself in one or a number of areas. This help may come from your family members and friends, aged care services delivered by an aged care service provider, or a combination of the two.
There are several different types of aged care services. For example, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, the Home Care Package, residential care, and palliative care.
Importantly, the types (and the support and help provided within each of them) are aimed at accommodating your changing needs as you get older. Below is a brief overview of the different types of aged care services.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme
In 2019-20*, 839,373 Australians were receiving care via the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)—and of these people, 29.8% were aged 85 or older (69.0% were 60-84 years of age).
If you need entry-level care to stay living independently in your home for longer, then the CHSP may be an appropriate consideration.
The CHSP can provide services either in your home, assist with social activities in your community, or a combination of both. The services provided can include nursing care, personal care, domestic assistance, home maintenance, home modification, transport, social support, allied health support services, and food services.
For more information on the CHSP (including eligibility, access and cost of services), click here.
Home Care Package
As at 30 June 2020*, 142,436 Australians were receiving care via the Home Care Package (HCP)—and of these people, 41.1% were aged 85 or older (57.9% were 60-84 years of age).
If you need more complex care to stay living independently in your home for longer—compared to the care received under the CHSP— then the HCP may be an appropriate consideration.
Over and above the services provided under the CHSP, the HCP includes additional higher-level services. For example, depending on the level of care you need, you may receive continence management, mobility and dexterity aids, and more complex allied health, nursing, and other clinical services care.
For more information on the HCP (including eligibility, access and cost of services), click here.
As at 30 June 2020*, 189,954 Australians were receiving care (residential care) in a residential aged care facility—and of these people, 58.4% were aged 85 or older (40.3% were 60-84 years of age).
As you age, you may find (due to various reasons) you are unable to continue residing at home.
If this occurs, you may still find you need help with personal care, transport, domestic care, meal preparation and nursing care. A residential aged care facility may be an appropriate consideration here—providing an opportunity for you to receive the help you need to continue living as independently as possible.
Living in a residential aged care facility can help you with day-to-day tasks, activities of daily living (personal care), 24-hour nursing care and allied health support services.
For more information on residential care (including eligibility, access and cost of services), click here.
In 2018-19^, 83,430 palliative care-related hospitalisations were reported from public acute and private hospitals in Australia—and 53.6% (palliative care) and 54.2% (other end-of-life care) were aged 75 or older.
Albeit daunting to think about, at some point in your life you may be faced with a life-limiting or terminal illness. Depending on your situation, palliative care may be a consideration.
Palliative care can be provided in a range of settings such as at your home, in a private or public hospital, in a hospice, in a palliative care unit, or, in a residential aged care facility.
The delivery of palliative care may often involve a multidisciplinary team—general practitioners, nurses, specialists, allied health professionals and social workers. Therefore, the types of services may vary, depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
For more information on palliative care (including eligibility, access and cost of services), click here.
If you have any queries about this article, please contact us.
*Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). GEN Aged Care Data: People using aged care.
^Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Palliative care services in Australia.