Hi Tammy, my elderly parents were noticeably frailer these holidays. They want to stay in their home, but it is getting too much for them. What options are available to them? Thanks, Gavin, Cromer

Hi Gavin,

There are a range of options available to help your parents retain their independence while living in their home. In home services can be accessed privately or via government subsidised packages.

To access government subsidised services, your parents must first be assessed. This is arranged via the MyAgedCare website, which outlines eligibility criteria for booking an assessment. This assessment is generally conducted in the home and determines need and eligibility for services. If eligible, recipients then choose which services they wish to use, if any, and the provider of those services.

(1) The entry level into subsidised in-home care services is the Commonwealth home support programme (CHSP). This is a variety of services to assist with living safely and independently in the home. It is generally offered on a co-payment basis, where the recipient pays a reduced fee for the service and the government pays the balance. Your parent’s assessor will confirm the services they are eligible for, which may include cleaning, gardening, meals, transport, mobility devices or home modifications.

(2) For more complex care needs, your parents may be eligible for a structured Home care package (HCP). There are four package levels based on need, each with a set annual budget. The recipient works with their chosen provider to allocate their budget to services that suit their needs. The recipient pays a daily fee (calculated by Centrelink), with the balance covered by the government. Once the HCP budget is used up, your parents have the option to pay privately for additional services.

For more intensive care needs, it may be necessary to consider residential aged care. Seeking financial advice at this point is critical as optimal structuring can have a significant impact on the overall cost and affordability of care. Importantly, do not agree to pay the lump sum room cost upfront. Initially, elect to pay the daily room cost while you consider your options.

Quick Tips: Get in early, there may be a wait to see an assessor. There are only a set number of HCPs the government subsidises, and it may take months to be allocated a package. The Support at home program (SAHP) is scheduled to commence from mid-2025, consolidating CHSP and HCP services into one program. Find a financial adviser with specialist training and accreditation in aged care advice.

Feel free to call me on 8376 0350 if you have any further questions or need assistance.

Regards, Tammy

Financial planner Tammy Marshman of Up Wealth Management is an Authorised Representative of Consultum Financial Advisers Pty Ltd, AFSL 230323. Phone 8376 0350 or visit upwealthmanagement.com.au

This is general information only, as in preparing it we did not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your personal circumstances. Although the information is considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete and you should not rely upon it. Please seek financial advice specific to your situation before making any financial, investment or insurance decision.