Help to stay at home advice for seniors

Office closure

Our offices will close from Monday 24 December 2018 and will reopen on Thursday 3 January 2019. For urgent assistance during that period you can contact us.

Many people prefer to stay in their home and maintain their independence as they age. Staying at home in the environment you know, with familiar neighbours, shops and other facilities may be a good option, but sometimes you might need assistance to remain at home.

The help to stay in your home fact sheet has further information and can be found in the Seniors housing guide.

Know your consumer rights

When making arrangements to receive home care remember:

  • You have the right to choose your home care provider.
  • When signing up for home care, make sure you take the time to find the best care for you.
  • Never sign anything you don’t understand. If you need you can seek assistance from a trusted source, advocate or legal adviser.
  • Avoid signing anything on the spot. Take your time, ask questions and make sure it’s right for you.
  • Home care, like any services, should be delivered on time and with care.
  • You have rights if something goes wrong. Speak up and use your consumer rights.
  • If something goes wrong or seems unfair you should talk to your provider. If this fails you should contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) for help.

The ACCC has released guides to help you understand your consumer rights when receiving home care. 

Commonwealth Home Support Program

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) program can help you stay in your home. Assistance can include such things as:

  • home help, like cleaning and shopping;
  • delivered meals;
  • gardening, home maintenance and home modifications;
  • assistance with transport;
  • personal or nursing care; and
  • social support.

You may be eligible for CHSP if you:

  • are having trouble doing everyday activities without help, and
  • need support to live independently in the community;

and are:

  • 65 years or older (50 years or older and identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person) or
  • 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless.

If you have been injured or hospitalised you may be eligible for extra services through the program for a short time to help you get back on your feet after you return home.

To find out if you need an assessment and if you are eligible for help at home services, you should call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. The My Aged Care staff will ask you questions about your current needs and circumstances so they can refer you to appropriate aged care services. You will need to have a home support assessment with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) before you can be approved for care.

You will be asked to pay a contribution toward the cost of the support services provided, based upon your income and the level of support you receive.

A person receiving an age pension contributes a maximum fee per week. No person will be denied a service because they cannot afford to pay.

Higher care needs – Home Care Package

The types of services provided under a Home Care Package will depend on the specific needs of consumers and will be coordinated for them by their home care provider. Services include:

  • Personal care – such as help with showering or bathing, dressing, mobility, meal preparation and eating;
  • Support services – such as help with washing and ironing, house cleaning, gardening, basic home maintenance, home modifications related to care needs such as hand rails in the shower, and transport to help residents with the shopping, visit the doctor or attend social activities;
  • Clinical care – such as nursing, and other health support such as physiotherapy (exercise, mobility, strength and balance) and podiatry (foot care).

There are four levels of Home Care Packages – designed to give the care you need:

  • Level 1 supports people with basic care needs
  • Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs
  • Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs
  • Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs

To receive these services, you must be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team as requiring a level of residential care but able to live at home with the support of a care package, if that is your choice. You may be asked to pay a fee towards the costs of these services.

To find out more about CHSP or care packages, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

My Aged Care provides information and guidance about community care services, health services and aged care homes available in your local area and how to contact them.

Veterans

The Veterans' Home Care program helps eligible veterans and war widows/widowers with low level care needs to remain in their homes for longer. Available services are similar to CHSP services, such as personal care, home help and home modifications.

For more information or to arrange an assessment, ask your doctor or ring the Veterans’ Home Care agency on 1300 550 450.

Information is available on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs' website.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology and equipment can help with modifying your home to meet your changing needs. The above services can assist you with looking at these options.

You can also contact the Independent Living Centre of Western Australia on 1300 885 886.

Assistance with living costs

You may be eligible to help with living costs.  Below are some of the housing related concessions or rebates available ifyou have a WA Seniors Card. 

Concession or rebate Who to contact

Cost of Living Rebate
Annual payment to assist with rising living expenses for eligible seniors.

Download the forms from:

ConsessionsWA

Email

(08) 6551 8800

or

1800 671 233 (country)

Energy rebates
The Energy Concession Extension Scheme (‘scheme’) provides payments to assist people to meet their energy consumption costs in certain circumstances. Subsidies for life support equipment, air conditioning (in hottest parts of the state) and cooling/heating costs for people with thermoregulatory dysfunction. Hardship Utility Grant Scheme assistance for electricity, gas or water bills.

Contact your energy retailer or the Department of Finance on:

(08) 9262 1373

Local government rates
Rebates or deferment on annual property rates for eligible seniors.
Contact your local council.  Details available from WALGA
Water
Water Corporation discounts

Water Corporation
1300 659 951

You may also be eligible to receive assistance with licence fees, public transport, tourist attractions and intrastate travel. To find out more about what is available, contact the Seniors Card Hotline on (08) 6551 8800 or 1800 671 233.

Ruah Community Services has a booklet, Getting By Getting Ahead - A guide to concessions and other ways of keeping costs down, which covers non-government as well as government assistance. For a copy, call (08) 9485 3939.

Payment difficulties

Whether a pensioner or a self-funded retiree, there are times when you may experience financial difficulties.  Financial counsellors can often help at these times.  They can assist with budgets, advise on debt reduction strategies and, with your consent, negotiate with credit providers on your behalf. 

Financial counsellors are employed by local community organisations and sometimes by local councils.  To find one close to where you live, contact the Financial Counselling Helpline on 1800 007 007.

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Fact sheet

Detailed information from the seniors housing guide. 

Help to stay in your home fact sheet

 

 

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