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8 Your right to aged care

Ageing may bring with it new challenges. Illness, disability and reduced mobility can make daily life more difficult without assistance. You have a right to information about aged care services and to an assessment of your care needs and eligibility for Australian Government funded services. This chapter explains the different kinds of care services funded by the Australian Government and available through local care providers.

8.1 Short term care: Transition Care and Respite Care

Short-term care services are available to older people who require temporary care after a stay in hospital. It is also available to people who need a break from their current home care arrangements, or for people who have a carer who needs a break.

(a) Transition Care

Transition Care can be accessed for up to 12 weeks to provide you with low intensity therapy and personal or nursing care after a hospital stay. This can be in your home or in a residential setting. You need to be approved by an Aged Care Assessment Team to be eligible. Care is subsidised but you may be charged a maximum fee of up to 17.5 percent of your pension in a community setting or 85 percent of your pension in a residential setting. What you are charged always depends on your ability to pay.

(b) Respite Care

If you or your carer needs a break, you can access Respite Care. Respite Care services are available in your home; in a community setting under the National Respite for Carers Program; or in an aged care home.

Where to go for more information

For more information on short term care call 1800 200 422 or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.

For information about carer support and respite contact the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 during business hours or 1800 059 059 for after-hours emergency respite assistance.

Where to go for help or to make a complaint

To make a complaint, contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.

Contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Program to access more information about your rights or how to make a complaint.

ACT
02 6242 5060
NSW Country and Regional callers
1800 424 079
NSW Sydney callers
02 9281 3600
NT
08 8982 1111
QLD
1800 818 338
QLD Brisbane callers
07 3637 6000
SA
08 8232 5377
TAS
03 6224 2240
VIC
03 9602 3066
WA
08 94797566
All other regional and country callers
1800 700 600

To take a complaint further, contact the Aged Care Commissioner on 1800 500 294.

 

8.2 Aged care at home: The Commonwealth HACC Program

You have a right to seek access to aged care services that will help you remain in your home for as long as possible. Different programs are available. The program that is right for you will depend on the level of care that you require.

(a) Commonwealth HACC Program

You can access individual care services to support you to stay at home through the Commonwealth HACC Program in all states except Victoria and Western Australia. In Victoria and Western Australia basic care service are delivered under the state Home and Community Care (HACC) Program. These services support older Australians to be more independent at home and in the community and may include:

  • Nursing care;
  • Allied health services like podiatry, physiotherapy and speech pathology;
  • Domestic assistance including help with cleaning, washing and shopping;
  • Personal care;
  • Social support;
  • Home maintenance and modifications;
  • Assistance with food preparations in the home;
  • Delivery of meals;
  • Transport;
  • Assessment, client care, coordination and case management;
  • Counselling, information and advocacy services
  • Centre based day care; and
  • Support for carers including respite services.

 

You can access Commonwealth HACC services if you are aged 65 years and over (or 50 years and over if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander), live in the community, and are at risk of needing to go into long term residential care. Fees may apply to use HACC services.

Where to go for more information

For more information on the Commonwealth HACC program and HACC services in Victoria and Western Australia, please call 1800 200 422 or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.

Where to go for help or to make a complaint

To make a complaint contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.

Contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Program for more information about your rights and to find out how to make a complaint.

ACT
02 6242 5060
NSW Country and Regional callers
1800 424 079
NSW Sydney callers
02 9281 3600
NT
08 8982 1111
QLD
1800 818 338
QLD Brisbane callers
07 3637 6000
SA
08 8232 5377
TAS
03 6224 2240
VIC
03 9602 3066
WA
08 94797566
All other regional and country callers
1800 700 600

To take a complaint further, contact the Aged Care Commissioner on 1800 500 294.

 

8.3 Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages provide you with care whilst remaining in your own home. These packages of care are suited to people who require coordinated or comprehensive arrangements to stay at home. A service provider will create a package of services that are tailored to meet your needs. You can negotiate with the provider on the types and levels of care. The services you can access through these packages include:

  • Personal care;
  • Nursing and allied health;
  • Social support;
  • Transport to appointments;
  • Home help, including cleaning and gardening;
  • Home maintenance and minor modifications to the home; and
  • Respite.

 

You will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment team to be eligible to receive a Home Care Package.

From 1 August 2013 four different levels of home care will be available; each caters for a different level of care needs.

  • Home Care Level 1: basic level care needs
  • Home Care Level 2: low level care needs
  • Home Care Level 3: intermediate care needs
  • Home Care Level 4: high level care needs

Some Home Care Packages are delivered on a Consumer Directed Care basis, which allows you a greater degree of choice over the types of services you access, and how those services are delivered.

(a) Dementia and Cognition Supplement

From 1 August 2013, people with dementia or cognitive impairment will be supported through an additional Dementia and Cognition Supplement payment at each level of Home Care. This payment is made to your home care provider if you are eligible.

From 1 August 2013, people receiving Community Aged Care Package (CACP), Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) and Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia (EACHD) packages will automatically transfer to the Home Care Packages program. CACP recipients will become Home Care level 2 recipients and EACH and EACHD recipients will become Home Care level 4 recipients. The Dementia and Cognition Supplement will automatically be provided to people on EACHD packages.

(b) Home Care Package Fees

Pensioners may be asked to pay a basic fee of up to 17.5 percent of the Age Pension rate. Those on a higher income may be asked to pay a higher fee, up to 50 percent of income above the basic pension. A consumer’s access to a care package must not be affected by their ability to pay fees, but should be based on the need for care, and the capacity of the approved provider to meet that need.

Where to go for more information

For more information call 1800 200 422 or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.

Where to go for help or to make a complaint

To make a complaint contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.

Contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Program to access more information on your rights and how to make a complaint.

ACT
02 6242 5060
NSW Country and Regional callers
1800 424 079
NSW Sydney callers
02 9281 3600
NT
08 8982 1111
QLD
1800 818 338
QLD Brisbane callers
07 3637 6000
SA
08 8232 5377
TAS
03 6224 2240
VIC
03 9602 3066
WA
08 94797566
All other regional and country callers
1800 700 600

To take a complaint further contact the Aged Care Commissioner on 1800 500 294.

8.4 Residential Aged Care

Some older people are unable to live at home and must move into a residential aged care home. Some homes may provide special programs for particular conditions. Residential aged care is available for people with different levels of care needs, catering for people who are semi-independent through to people with high-care needs. The care and services you receive will be appropriate and adapted to your needs.

Services include:

  • Accommodation;
  • Meals;
  • Personal assistance including help with showering and dressing; and
  • Nursing care and other services.

Some residential aged care homes provide special programs for people with particular circumstances such as homes specialising in the provision of care to veterans.

You can choose a preferred residential aged care service and work with the provider to tailor the care you receive to meet your needs.

(a) Residential Aged Care Fees

Residential aged care services will charge a range of fees and charges depending on the accommodation and services being provided. The fee that you pay will also depend on your ability to pay.

There are hardship provisions to protect residents who cannot afford to pay.

To access residential aged care you will need to have your care needs assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team.

Where to go for more information

For more information call the 1800 200 422 or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.

Where to go for help or to make a complaint

To make a complaint contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.

Contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Program for more information on your rights and how to make a complaint.

ACT
02 6242 5060
NSW Country and Regional callers
1800 424 079
NSW Sydney callers
02 9281 3600
NT
08 8982 1111
QLD
1800 818 338
QLD Brisbane callers
07 3637 6000
SA
08 8232 5377
TAS
03 6224 2240
VIC
03 9602 3066
WA
08 94797566
All other regional and country callers
1800 700 600

To take a complaint further, contact the Aged Care Commissioner on 1800 500 294.

8.5 Your rights to care at home and residential aged care

All those who receive Commonwealth funded aged care, whether at home or in residential care, have a right to receive quality care. Your service provider must meet standards of quality set by the Australian Government.

If you are receiving a Commonwealth funded Home Care Package, your rights and responsibilities are set out in the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care. If you are in residential care, your rights are set out and the Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities. You have the right to:

  • Be treated with dignity;
  • Have your privacy respected;
  • Receive care without feeling obliged to feel grateful to those providing the care;
  • Be involved in choosing the care that best meet your assessed needs from the services available; and
  • Access information about your rights and information about yourself.

 

Where to go for more information

Order copies of the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care or the Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities by contacting 1800 200 422.

Where to go for help or to make a complaint

Aged care providers do their best to provide quality care and services for older Australians. If you have a concern about the care that you or someone else is receiving you have the right to make a complaint about your care or services without being afraid that you will lose your care or be disadvantaged in any other way. In the first instance it is recommended that you raise any concerns with your service provider.

If you are unable to resolve your complaint, you could contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. This is a free service for people to raise their concerns about quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services that are subsidised by the Australian Government. Concerns may include quality of care, choice of activities, personal care, catering, communication or the physical environment.

Contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.

Contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Program to access more information on your rights and how to make a complaint.

ACT
02 6242 5060
NSW Country and Regional callers
1800 424 079
NSW Sydney callers
02 9281 3600
NT
08 8982 1111
QLD
1800 818 338
QLD Brisbane callers
07 3637 6000
SA
08 8232 5377
TAS
03 6224 2240
VIC
03 9602 3066
WA
08 94797566
All other regional and country callers
1800 700 600

To take a complaint further, contact the Aged Care Commissioner on 1800 500 294.

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency on 1800 288 025 can be contacted regarding quality and standards of care in residential care until 1 January 2014 and in home care until 1 July 2014. After this date, you should contact the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.