Aged care these days encompasses a diverse range of services to assist people in their twilight years. While the thought of aged care traditionally invokes images of an “old people’s home”, there are other options available today in Australia for older people needing help and support with their lives.
Of course, the traditional aged care supported accommodation facilities are certainly a big part of the aged care dynamic. But nowadays, aged care is considered more of a journey, and you can progress through different levels of care on your journey towards old age.
The first step on the journey – support in your own home
The signs of ageing can be quite subtle, and you can begin to experience problems long before you need the support of a residential facility. That’s when many people start to access aged care services in their own home.
Home support programs are an excellent way for older Australians to access lower levels of the care and support they need without having to leave the comfort and security of their own home. It’s the perfect way to “age in place”, as it’s called, and often provides great relief for older people who are struggling with some aspects of their lives.
Services provided will depend on your individual needs, but may include transport, help with personal care and domestic chores, home maintenance, cooking and nursing care.
You will need to be assessed by My Aged Care (click here to access these services: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au) before being assigned an appropriate package of services. These services can be provided by independent providers such as Finley Regional Care https://www.finleyregionalcare.com.au/services-at-finley-regional-care/complete-care-packages/.
The great news is that these programs are heavily subsidised by the Australian Government so that all older Australians can access affordable care.
The home support programs are in themselves a progression, with four different levels of package available to support different levels of needs. You may well start with an entry-level package, and progress to a higher-level package as your care needs increase.
The second step on the journey – short-term care
Eventually you may need a higher level of care, and may need to access short term or flexible care services. These are available either in your own home or in a residential aged care setting, and assist greatly in situations such as transitioning from a hospital stay to home, recovering from an accident or illness, or undergoing restorative care (returning you to independence).
Residential respite care is another option when needed, and you can access up to 63 days each financial year on a planned or emergency basis. Under this type of care, an aged care
facility will provide you with a range of relevant services and care just as if you were a permanent resident of that facility. This can work well if your level of required care is higher for a short period of time, your carer is unable to look after you for some reason, or your carer needs a break.
These types of care help fill the gap between living alone and accessing full time residential aged care, and can be extremely useful in unusual situations. You will also need an aged care assessment through My Aged Care before accessing this type of care, however.
The third step on the journey – residential aged care
When these types of care are no longer enough to meet your needs, you’ll need to access residential aged care. These facilities, funded by the federal government to subsidise the costs, provide help with day-to-day tasks, personal care and clinical care.
Aged care facilities must meet particular accreditation standards to ensure their level of care is high, and sometimes also offer additional specialist medical and health care, such as palliative care, dementia care, stoma care and rehabilitation and access to therapy services such as speech therapy, physiotherapy and podiatry.
So, consider aged care as a journey, not a destination. The services in Australia are designed to benefit older people at different stages of their journey, and provide appropriate levels of support and assistance to those in need. To find out more, get in contact with Finley Regional Care, a high quality aged care facility that provides all three types of care https://www.finleyregionalcare.com.au/contact-us/