“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours.” So said the author of The Inspired Caregiver Tia Walker. And we couldn’t agree more. As the Australian population ages, it is essential that many more individuals and businesses are recruited into the noble profession of aged care services. Indeed, knowing just what the Australian population will look like in the next 10 – 20 years is crucial for planning aged care programs and services. And as a business owner, it is also very important that you understand what aged care programs are currently on offer for elderly Australians. That way you can see how your business might expand into offering services in those areas, or even create entirely new ones of your own, to help meet the challenges the future will present us and care for those who need it most.
The Australian Government has established a wide range of aged care programs and initiatives. These are programs that providers should be aware of if they want to build successful businesses that support some of the nearly 4.2 million aged persons within the Australian population.
Different levels of aged care programs available
To break these down for you, it’s important to first understand the three levels of subsidised aged care services that are currently available in Australia:
- Entry-level at home support
- Support for older people with more complex needs to allow them to continue living in their own homes
- Assistance and accommodation options for elderly people unable to live at home independently.
A breakdown of the different aged care programs
The Australian Government aims to uphold high standards of aged care programs and services. In consultation with key community stakeholders, it has developed seven different aged care programs to meet the growing needs of Australia’s aging population. Each of the seven aged care programs outlined below operates across the 3 different levels of subsidised aged care services.
- Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
The CHSP provides lower levels of support to enable older people to continue living independently in their own homes with some assistance.
- Home Care Packages (HCP)
HCP packages provide more complex and frequent support for aged persons to assist them to continue living in their own homes.
- Residential aged care
The residential aged care program comprises a range of care options and accommodation services for elderly people unable to live independently at home. Funding is provided by the Australian Government to make residential aged care more affordable and accessible. Additionally, residential respite care supports aged persons and their carers to have a temporary break and do things independently of each other. It also serves as short-term residential aged care in the event of unforeseen circumstances or an emergency.
- Short-Term Care
The short term care program works to reverse and/or slow down ‘functional decline’ and improve general wellbeing in aged persons via an early intervention model. It is a time-limited service with funding available for up to 56 days. STRC services may be delivered in a home care setting, a residential care setting, or a combination of both.
- Transition Care
The transition care program supports aged care that is temporary, goal-focused and therapy-intensive. It is usually accessed by older people after stays in hospital stays and can be delivered either via an in-home or community setting. Alternatively, this program is also available within residential aged care settings.
- Multi-Purpose Services (MPS)
The Australian Government and state governments joined forces to create the MPS aged care program that aims to offer integrative aged care services for elderly people living in rural and remote settings. It is offered either as an in-home, community-based or residential care program.
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC)
The NATSIFAC program delivers culturally appropriate aged care to elderly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The aim of this program is to provide aged care services that are near to where the individual lives, therefore a lot of the time this means the service delivery is within rural and remote communities.
This overview is meant to give business owners a guide on what aged care programs and initiatives currently exist for elderly Australians. It is important to understand that Australia’s aging population presents a unique set of challenges moving forward. That is why the Australian business community must begin looking to how it can rise to meet the challenge. Business owners like you can help elderly Australian live more independently and access a higher standard of living by developing the services your business offers. And if you would like to know how Brevity Care software can help you meet the challenges in the aged care service provision space and deliver better care to your clients, contact us today for a free trial of our tailored software solution.
Originally published Jan 16 2021