Staying at home
Most older people prefer to remain living at home in surroundings they know, near friends and neighbours, and in communities in which they belong.
The right support at the right time can maximise an older person’s independence and quality of life, maintain their dignity and keep them connected and safe at home.
Navigating home care in Australia
The Australian aged care system now provides older people greater choice and control over the supports they may receive to stay at home. There are many possibilities to design and select the supports best suited to meet individual needs.
Your eligibility for government subsidised home care
Subsidised help to support you to remain in your own home is available from the government under the Commonwealth Home Support Program or the Home Care Packages Program, see Live Well Longer’s simplified overview of the Australian aged home care system.
Become a Live Well Longer member to access useful tips and strategies about accessing government subsidised home care, selecting a service provider and getting the most from your government subsidy or contact us to find out more about our upcoming seminars.
The capacity to privately purchase services or to employ your own carers
There is a rapidly growing home care sector, including for profit companies and small businesses offering fee-for-service services, such as private nursing, home help, cleaning, gardening and personal care. Some are also approved providers to deliver Commonwealth subsidised home care packages, and provide subsidised as well as fee-for service home care.
Become a Live Well Longer member to access useful tips and strategies about selecting a home care provider or contact us to find out more about our upcoming seminars.
What the local community can offer
Some of the things that can assist someone to stay socially connected and live well longer at home can be located in the local community.
Community and church groups can offer social activities and interest groups, which provide important social contact and mental stimulation. Some may offer assistance with transport, home visiting or library book delivery.
To find out what is happening in the community, the local library or the local council will have information on community groups, clubs and activities in the local area.
How family members, neighbours and friends can work together
A significant amount of support for older people living at home comes from families, friends and neighbours. For family members, this can mean having an understanding of the resources each member has to offer – for some, this may be in the form of time and availability, while for other family members, it may be in the form of financial support. It may mean that one family member, due to proximity or time, takes on the primary care role.
It is important for other family members to explore the roles they may play in supporting each other; taking into account complementary skill sets and the roles they may play so that the supports in place are sustainable. It might mean developing a family roster to visit, or telephone.
If a family member is providing daily care (either live in or visiting), then they might be eligible to receive carers financial assistance from the Australian Government.
Neighbours can provide important back up support, keeping a friendly eye out, putting the rubbish bin out on the verge, helping with shopping. Often, it can be as simple as asking, and people will be only too happy to assist.
Having a plan
Having a plan to stay at home as you age, which considers the possibilities most suited to your circumstances, can help to avoid a crisis, alleviate anxiety and help families to work together in line with the wishes and needs of their family member.
Developing a Live Well Longer plan will help individuals and their families identify a shared vision for the future and an understanding of what is required for this to become a reality. The process includes identification of individual support needs and strategies to meet these needs. It also identifies responsibilities and timelines.
The Live Well Longer planning process is flexible and the plan is as simple or as detailed as each person’s situation requires. Importantly, it is responsive to the challenges and changes which occur as a person ages and their support needs change.
Become a Live Well Longer member to access our Planning Guide or contact us to find out more about our upcoming seminars .