If some household or personal tasks are harder than they once were, it’s possible to get support. You don’t have to fear being sent to a nursing home; you may be eligible for help around the house instead.

Aged care is more than simply nursing homes. Over the last couple of decades, the aged care industry has moved towards providing more in-home support services. These support services allow people to stay in their home for longer than they otherwise might have been able to.

The services are designed to give people dignity, flexibility and choice, along with reducing pressure on aged care homes and the aged care industry.

In-home services are available for a wide range of tasks, which can include:

  • Shopping
  • Transport to appointments
  • Cooking and meal preparation
  • Cleaning and laundry
  • Gardening and home maintenance
  • Personal care, such as help dressing, bathing, incontinence help, etc
  • Help arranging social activities
  • Technological help to hook you up to the internet or phone so you can keep in contact with friends and family

In-home care can also include support to help you manage your daily tasks better and even reverse the difficulties you’re having managing everyday chores. This could include modifications to your home, physiotherapy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, podiatry, psychology or counselling services and help with mobility and other aids.

What do these in-home support services cost?

The Australian Government subsidises the cost of in-home support services. Depending on your financial situation and the services you need, you may need to pay towards the services.

You may be able to access financial subsidy for the services as part of a Home Care Package or the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

A Home Care Package

A Home Care Package is financial support for someone with a high or complex level of need. There are 4 levels of financial support within the Home Care Package suite, depending on your level of need, from Basic Level 1 ($9,026.45 a year at September 2021) to High Care Level 4 ($52,377.50 a year at September 2021).

You need to contribute to the cost of your care if you can. If you need to contribute towards the cost of your services, there are 3 types of fees you will need to pay:

  1. Basic daily fee (up to a maximum daily amount of $11.02 (at September 2021))
  2. Income tested care fee (up to a daily maximum of $31.63 (at September 2021)

There are annual and lifetime limits that apply, following a formal income assessment by Services Australia (Centrelink))

  1. Additional fees (any other amount you have agreed to pay)

Commonwealth Home Support Package

This level of support is ‘entry level’. If you only need support with a few tasks, you could be eligible for subsidised support through the Commonwealth Home Support Package.

This program is designed for people who are managing but who need a small amount of support to continue to live independently.

This level of service is recommended for people who only need one or two support services.

Eligibility for this program is based on your age and your needs. Along with being assessed as needing help, you must be aged:

  • 65 or older
  • 50 or older if an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
  • 50 or older and on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless
  • 45 or older if an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless

Eligibility and assessment

You can find out more about the eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme on the MyAgedCare page.

To qualify for a Home Care Package or the Commonwealth Home Support Program, you’ll need to be assessed.

You can check if you meet the requirements for assessment on the MyAgedCare website.

You can also apply for an assessment.

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