The Australian population is ageing. This is due in part to the higher life expectancy as well as the low fertility rates. The ageing population places a new demand on our healthcare system. In this post, we’ll talk about:
- What is aged care
- support for the elderly
- the type of aged care services available to them
- who is entitled to aged care benefits
- and how to access Australia’s aged care support system
What is Aged Care
Aged care is the care provided to elderly people in their own homes or nursing home. Aged support can include assistance with everyday living, medical services, accommodation and mobility aids such as walking frames and wheelchairs.
Support for the elderly
As we get older, it becomes harder to do simple tasks on our own. Things like cleaning, flaring health problems, and mobility issues can hinder everyday living.
When this happens, aged support can provide the appropriate aid to elderly people who need help in their homes or to those who can no longer live at home. This includes:
- Help with day to day living– things such as household chores, grocery shopping, cooking meals and social activities
- Mobility aids– such as wheelchairs and Zimmer or walking frames
- Personal care– such as visiting the bathroom, getting dressed, and eating
- Health care– such as physiotherapy, remedial massage, nursing, or transition care
- Home alterations– such as bathroom rails, widened doors, and ramps
Here are some ways aged care can help:
- Look after your health and safety
- Keep connected with your community
- Be independent
- Maintain your cultural and social needs
Type of aged care services available
These are the different type of aged support services:
- In-home care
- Residential care in a nursing home or retirement village
- Transition care (short-term care after hospital)
Who is entitled to aged care benefits?
You may be entitled to government-funded aged care benefits if you are:
- 65 years old and older (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders qualify at 50 years old and older)
- Require assistance with everyday living
*Some people may require living assistance at a younger age*
How to access the Australian aged care support system
The federal government has a My Aged Care website that you can access for government-funded services. The website tells you how to request an eligibility assessment and how to organize services. Assistance is income tested, meaning, if you can afford to, you will need to pay for a portion of the cost.
If you do not meet government-funded eligibility or are waiting for funding to become available, you can always access private aged care service providers, which you will pay the full cost of yourself.
Many older Australians receive informal and unpaid support through volunteers, friends, and families. Aged care services in Australia are available through government organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and private companies.
Some private health funds such as Nib include home nursing as a benefit in their extras cover. For more information on health insurance policies and transition care services, call one of our Health Deal agents on 1300 369 399 for a completely free private health insurance comparison.