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Help staying at home
How to access help
This part of the website helps you, your carer, your family and friends understand the various types of home help available – why you might want or need them, and how you can arrange them. Home help is often described as 'community care' (more information).
Aged Care Assessment TeamsTo work out if you're eligible for certain subsidised aged care services you'll need to contact your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT or ACAS in Victoria) (more information). These are teams of health professionals who help decide on the types of care that will best meet your needs, such as home help or the support provided by an aged care home.
Referrals to an ACAT can be made by anyone – either you, your carer or a health professional such as your doctor.
Once you've made an appointment, a member of your local ACAT will visit you in your home, hospital or elsewhere, ask you a series of questions and discuss the assessment with you. You're welcome to have your usual carer involved in this discussion. The ACAT member visiting you may be a doctor, nurse, social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist or other appropriate health care professional. Their job is to discuss your situation, give you all the information you require, and help you make the best choices based on your individual needs and the services available. There are no fees charged for this assessment.
Following an ACAT assessment, you will be advised in writing the outcome of the assessment, including the type and level of care approved, and provided with a copy of the Aged Care Client Record (ACCR). The ACCR includes an application for care, which you sign prior to the commencement of the ACAT assessment. Service providers use the ACCR to match your care needs with the care they can provide.
Read more: About being assessed by an ACAT
The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) finder can help you find Aged Care Assessment Teams. Because of the way community care works, the ACAT you find may be based somewhere else but services your community.
Next step: Aged Care Assessment Team finder
Here are some of the programs and services you may be able to access.
Home & Community Care program (HACC)If you require some basic help with everyday tasks, the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program can assist by supporting your independence at home and in the community. This is an ideal solution if long-term care in an aged care home is inappropriate and you only need low-level care. An assessment by an ACAT is not necessary to access these services.
Read more: About the Home and Community Care Program
Extended Aged Care at Home packages (EACH)The Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) program provides services to meet your high care needs, through an individually tailored package to assist you to remain living in your own home for as long as possible if this is your preference. To receive this service, an ACAT assessment and approval is required (more information).
Read more: About Extended Aged Care at Home packages
Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia packages (EACHD)If you or someone you care for needs assistance because of behavioural problems associated with dementia, including periods of changes in behaviour such as agitation, shadowing (more information), 'sundowning (more information)' or other disturbances, the Extended Aged Care at Home – Dementia (EACHD) program can provide high-level care through an individually tailored package. To receive this service an ACAT assessment and approval is required.
Read more: About Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia packages
Community Aged Care Packages (CACP)The Community Aged Care Package (CACP) Program provides a planned and managed package of community care services for you if you have complex care needs and would like to remain living in your own home. To be eligible to receive a care package, you must be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT or ACAS in Victoria) as requiring the level of assistance this package delivers.
Read more: About Community Aged Care Packages
Comonwealth Respite and Carelink CentresCommonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres provide a point of contact for the general public, carers, service providers, general practitioners and other health professionals to access information on carer support and respite services. Phone 1800 200 422 during business hours, or for emergency respite support outside standard business hours, call 1800 059 059.
Commonwealth Carelink ProgramThe Commonwealth Carelink Program supports a national network of Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres that provide up-to-date information on local community, aged care and disability services in your area that will help you continue living at home.
Read more: About Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres
Transition Care ProgramThe Transition Care Program is aimed at helping you improve your independence and confidence after a hospital stay, giving you and your family more time to determine whether you can return home with additional support from community care services, or need to consider the level of care provided by an aged care home. An ACAT assessment and approval is required to access this service.
Read more: About the Transition Care Program
Common questions on this topic:
- How can I receive services/s from the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program?
- Are there services that give care at home without me going to the Aged Care Assessment Team first?
- How can I find out about programs to help me care for someone?