‘Living’ FAQ’s

Tap and display some facts concerning our care services and some links from worthy federal government departments that you may find of interest.

For your information, here is an overview on changes around government subsidised in-home care following the recently introduced aged care reforms.

GOVERNMENT SUBSIDISED SERVICES

From 27 February 2017, Age Care in Victoria reforms have been introduced which now gives you, the client, the choice of care and support within your home. Check with your local office for the rest of Australia.

There are two government subsidised supported Home Care Services, but you are asked to pay something towards the cost of the service. The amount you are asked to contribute depends on your income, assets and circumstances.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) formerly known as HACC programme and usually provided through the shires. This programme provides support services for older people who need short-term or basic assistance. This service is subsidised by government, but there may be some fees to pay.

Regional Assessment Service

Before you’re able to get CHSP services, a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) assessment is needed. They will visit you at home to assess what services you can use. Contact My Aged Care for a referral to RAS.

With the CHSP, you:

  • choose from a set menu of services – there isn’t much flexibility
  • only pay for the services you use
  • can dip in and out of the programme as you need things.
  • The Home Care Packages Programme – more or longer-term support.
    This programme provides more complex, coordinated and personalised care at home. It offers four levels of care packages to progressively support people with basic, low, intermediate and high care needs. It can include personal care, support services, nursing, allied health and clinical services. 
  • Aged Care Assessment

    To find out if you are eligible for government subsidised home care, you require an Aged Care Assessment. There is no fee or charge for an aged care assessment.

    To organise an assessment, you need to call My Aged Care which is a government portal for any older person seeking care.  Telephone 1800 200 422. Interpreters are available, if required.

    My Aged Care staff will organise an assessment for you in your home depending on your need.  After you have been assessed, you will receive a letter outlining what service you are eligible for you and how to go about organising your care.

    If you are not satisfied with the assessment, you can seek a review of the decision. You must do that in writing within 28 days of receiving your letter from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

    Engaging an Approved Provider

    If you have been assessed as being eligible for a Home Care Package, you can decide if you want to take up the package  and contact providers to find out if the services they offer meet your needs. These providers must be approved by the government. Once you have chosen an approved provider, you can then choose to have them manage your funds and provide the actual services, or you can request another service provider to provide the actual services that best suit your needs. The choice is YOURS.

    To find an approved provider call My Aged Care.

    With a Home Care Package:

    • a case manager or case adviser helps you understand the system and work out a Care Plan
    • you decide how to spend the funding you get, rather than choosing from a menu
    • you will receive a monthly statement which will include the following- income, including your contributions and the government contribution, itemised expenditures, including charges for services received and any other charges such as administration and case management fees, and balance and the unspent funds, including any contingency fund.

    Some providers bundle charges together into one hourly rate (called a ‘unit cost’). You can ask for an explanation of how they have come to this amount and a breakdown of the costs.

    • once you have a package, it stays in place for the long term.
    • you will sign a Home Care Agreement which outlines the roles and responsibilities of you and your provider.
    Cost and value for money 

    What you pay

    There are two types of fees you may be asked to pay: the basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee.

    Your provider may ask you to pay a basic daily fee. This amount is added to your budget and boosts what you can spend on care and support. Different providers charge different basic daily fees. Some providers have no fee and some use a sliding scale. You can negotiate with your provider about what basic daily fee you pay.

    If your income is above a certain amount, you must pay an income-tested care fee. Your income-tested care fee is assessed by Centrelink and increases the higher your income is. The government subsidy for your package is reduced by the same amount as your income-tested care fee. Both of these fees are the same no matter what level of package you are on. There are also supplements for people in remote areas and with specific needs, such as dementia support.

    Affording care

    If you’re worried about costs, you can get free, confidential and independent financial advice from the Department of Human Services Financial Information Service. Find more information on the Financial Information Service web page or telephone 132 300 to make an appointment. If you can’t afford to pay, you may be able to get government financial hardship assistance.

    Value for money

    Whether a Home Care Package is good value for money for you depends on your circumstances – everyone’s situation is different. Part-pensioners and self-funded retirees will have to contribute more, but a Home Care Package may still be worthwhile. Some things to consider are:

    • what your care and support needs are
    • whether you have others that can help you to manage at home
    • whether you would be better off financially paying for services privately
    • how much you have to contribute versus how much the government will subsidise.

    Direct services, goods and equipment

    It can be worth comparing your provider’s charges for services, goods and equipment to what you could buy privately. For example, some people use their package funds for allied health services, but find better value for other services, like garden maintenance and cleaning, in the private market.

    Administration and case management fees

    Administration and case management fees vary between providers. Although the government caps the Income-Tested Care Fee, it doesn’t control provider fees. You can ask other providers for a list of their fees and compare these with what your provider charges. Be aware that some providers charge a higher ‘unit cost’, which is all-inclusive, whereas others have a lower unit cost but add administration and case management fees.

    Independent financial advice

    If you’re concerned about finances, the government’s Financial Information Service can give you free, confidential and independent financial advice. Telephone 132 300 and when prompted, say ‘Financial Information Service’.


    We know that exercise, proper nutrition and getting enough sleep helps us stay healthy as we get older, but research shows that social interaction is one of the most important aspects of living a long, healthy lives.

    Most adults interact with several people a day such as co-workers, friends and family members who provide companionship. However, for seniors and some people living with a disability, regular opportunities for social engagement can diminish.

    Individuals who live alone often experience social isolation and feelings of loneliness and depression, which causes their health to decline. Companionship is a key part of senior and disability care, not just because companions provide assistance with daily tasks such as housekeeping and personal care, but also because they provide a meaningful human connection that greatly improves quality of life.

    Companion care can encourage confidence and independence, and boost social interaction. Apart from daily activities, popping in for a chat, organising appointments or social activities with clients, or going on social outings, are all part of our care. Our services are tailored to meet individual and family requests.

    Most seniors and people with disability want to stay living at home for as long as possible. It’s important to make sure that there is a healthy amount of social interaction, which can be difficult if they live alone. Bringing a caregiver into the home not only helps your loved one with activities of daily living, it also provides them with necessary social stimulation to help them live a healthy and happier life.


    Simply Helping assists many individuals and their families living with a disability. We endeavour through our well trained and empathetic staff to provide a flexible level of care and support to assist in maintaining independence and a healthy lifestyle.

    Intrinsic in this is the respect and value we place on the lives and independence of our clients. We work with individuals with a range of disabilities from those living with dementia, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay or acquired brain injury to individuals living with a physical disability.

    There is now a new scheme in place for many people living with a disability. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing individualised support and services for eligible people living with a permanent and significant impairment.

    Simply Helping is a member of NDIS and is fully compliant with the National Standards for Disability Services and the Department of Health and Human Services Standards.

    As the NDIS is being rolled out across the Australia, the opportunity of an increased choice for individuals and families to select the organisation they feel more comfortable working with is being embraced.

    We will:

    • meet with you, your family and carer to talk about your current support network
    • understand what you want to achieve and develop a plan to help you get there
    • help you find and access the best support services to meet your needs
    • be flexible in our approach
    • assist you in managing any issues you face with getting services and support
    • link you to information and support in the community so you are included and involved.

    To find out more about NDIS and how they can assist you, ring the office servicing your area, or for general information, go to: www.ndis.gov.au or telephone 1800 800 110.

    To help you understand NDIS, we have provided below a short, general synopsis of the programme. You can access further information by visiting the web site shown above.

    The NDIS will provide government-funded support and services for people with disability. People will have access to the supports and services they need to meet their goals and live an ‘ordinary life’. The national full roll-out started on 1 July, 2016. It is expected to support around 460,000 Australians living with a disability when it’s fully rolled out.

    The NDIS will:

    • be a single national system
    • integrate with other sectors such as health, aged care, education and housing
    • be administered by a Commonwealth statutory authority, the NDIA
    • have no impact on the Disability Support Pension and is not a means-tested entitlement
    • double the financial resources committed to disability
    • substantially increase the disability workforce
    • meet many unmet needs, such as equipment, home modifications, coordination and respite
    • provide the individual with purchasing power, plus choice and control

    The NDIS has bipartisan support, so all governments are working together to ensure its success. The NDIS is partially funded by an increase to the Medicare levy, which means that all of society is contributing toward the funds needed to run the scheme.

    WHAT ARE THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MY REGION?

    • Full scheme roll-out is being introduced in stages by location, service type or age depending on transition arrangements agreed by your state or territory government.
    • The timetable is different for each region and can be located at: www.ndis.gov.au
    • If you currently receive specialist disability services and support, you will be contacted before your region transition.
    • Existing Commonwealth and state-based supports will continue until you have an agreed funded NDIS plan.

    WHAT IS THE ACCESS PROCESS FOR ME?

    There will generally be two pathways to access NDIS supports and services:

    PATHWAY 1:
    PEOPLE ALREADY RECEIVING SPECIALIST DISABILITY SUPPORT SERVICES

    • Examples of specialist disability support include: residential care, respite, community access or personal care and support.
    • You will receive a call or a letter from National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)/ Local Area Coordinator (LAC) representative about access to the scheme.
    • NDIA/LAC representative will check your eligibility and arrange a time for a planning conversation.
    • At your planning conversation you will discuss your current supports and services and any immediate needs e.g. equipment.
    • No disadvantage rule: Governments made a commitment that if you were receiving supports before becoming a participant in the NDIS you should not be disadvantaged by your transition to the NDIS. Everyone involved will ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible.

    PATHWAY 2:
    THOSE NEW TO DISABILITY FUNDED SERVICES

    • You might have attended an information session or have received some information about the NDIS and considered the relevance of the scheme to you.
    • Eligibility can be checked by completing the access checklist (contact details).
    • Contact your local NDIA office and request your own Access Request Form (ARF). This form will provide the Agency with evidence of your eligibility.
    • After completing the ARF and returning it to the NDIA, you will be contacted about the next steps in the access process.
    • It is advisable to be well prepared for your planning conversation.

    HELPFUL HINTS
    Support and Services

    • Think about your current funded services and supports (if any)

    Informal Support Network

    • Think about what tasks and support your family, friends and community support networks provide to you

    Reasonable and necessary NDIA funded supports must be deemed what they call “reasonable and necessary”

    This is determined using a set of criteria which takes into account whether:

    • the supports are effective, beneficial and based on current good practice
    • the supports represent value for money
    • what is reasonable to expect of family carers, other informal supports and from community and mainstream services

    Goals

    • An example goal is: To remain employed, care for my children and continue to live at home as independently as possible
    • Think about the difficulties experienced that reduce capacity to achieve your goal

    Our ‘Home Helpers’ are experienced, reliable, flexible and competent at what they do.

    We ensure that all Home Helpers are fully insured, police checked and thoroughly reference checked for everyone’s peace of mind.

    We can help you with a range of services from:

    • general home cleaning
    • changing linen
    • ironing
    • mail collection
    • paying bills
    • watering of pots and garden

    through to an annual spring clean.

    Our Home Helpers can work from a minimum of 1 hour up to as many as you feel is needed for the jobs that you want done, and can be on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis or as a ‘one off ‘……. we try to be flexible.

    Home Helpers are given a ‘Home Help Checklist’ which includes the basic jobs that are to be done on a visit, as well as other jobs that can be done on a less regular basis. For all our private clients, it is important to note that we are only responsible for the selection and referral of people to our private clients to work in the cleaning and home help area.

    We wish to make the whole process of providing you with help as simple as possible.


    Simply Helping assists many individuals and their families living with a disability. We endeavour through our well trained and empathetic staff to provide a flexible level of care and support to assist in maintaining independence and a healthy lifestyle.

    Intrinsic in this is the respect and value we place on the lives and independence of our clients. We work with individuals with a range of disabilities from those living with dementia, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay or acquired brain injury to individuals living with a physical disability.

    There is now a new scheme in place for many people living with a disability. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing individualised support and services for eligible people living with a permanent and significant impairment.

    Simply Helping is a member of NDIS and is fully compliant with the National Standards for Disability Services and the Department of Health and Human Services Standards.

    As the NDIS is being rolled out across the Australia, the opportunity of an increased choice for individuals and families to select the organisation they feel more comfortable working with is being embraced.

    We will:

    • meet with you, your family and carer to talk about your current support network
    • understand what you want to achieve and develop a plan to help you get there
    • help you find and access the best support services to meet your needs
    • be flexible in our approach
    • assist you in managing any issues you face with getting services and support
    • link you to information and support in the community so you are included and involved.

    To find out more about NDIS and how they can assist you, ring the office servicing your area, or for general information, go to: www.ndis.gov.au or telephone 1800 800 110.

    To help you understand NDIS, we have provided below a short, general synopsis of the programme. You can access further information by visiting the web site shown above.


    Simply Helping provide thoughtful, professional and qualified carers to assist people experiencing difficulty with daily living activities.

    Our carers are sensitive to individual dignity. All support is provided with respect, and in a private and secure setting.

    Assistance may include the following:
    Personal Hygiene
    • Bathing/showering, sponging in bed
    • Assistance with dressing and undressing
    • Clothing selection
    • Grooming – hair, shaving
    • Teeth/denture cleaning
    • Application of appropriate aids and splints such as TED stockings, glasses, dentures, hearing aids, etc.
    • Prompting to consume medication(s) from a Webster Pack or dosette
    • Maintenance of skin integrity
    • Changing of continence products
    • General tidy-up of bathroom following showers
    • Change of catheter drainage bags and appropriate disposal as specified in the Care Plan
    • Application and/or removal of condom drainage system
    • Bowel monitoring
    • Assistance with clothing adjustment post-toilet
    • Monitoring of client safety – no standing in shower/adjusting water temperature/non-slip mat/rails/appropriate seating/hand-held shower
    • Fostering independence
    • Adjusting room temperature to ensure comfort
    Escorting to Appointments
    • All Simply Helping carers who transport clients have a current drivers licence and a registered and roadworthy vehicle.
    • Carers, when transporting clients, will use an appropriate car that clients are able to easily transfer in and out of.
    • May include, but not exclusive to medical, allied health and hydrotherapy sessions.
    Meals
    • Our carers will monitor nutritional intake and report any concerns or obvious weight loss/gain.
    • Assess that there’s adequate amounts of food available (fresh/frozen and not passed used-by-dates)
    • Shopping
    • Meal preparation, comfortable positioning of the client so they can eat a meal or assist them to eat, if necessary.
    • If receiving Meals-on-Wheels, ensure that the meals are eaten and containers are disposed of.
    • Ensure that adequate fluids are within the client’s reach and available to them throughout the day.
    Medications
    • Our carers can only prompt clients to take medication. The carer must allocate medication to clients directly from prescription bottles.
    • Check that medication has been taken when prompted and observe that they have been taken.
    • Monitor if and when medications are getting low and notify the family or the client’s brokerage care manager.
    • Simply Helping carers may need to collect the next medication pack from the client’s pharmacy.
    • If it is the carer’s instructions to prompt medications, ensure that the medications are kept in the designated place, or as directed by the Care Plan.
    • It is the responsibility of the carer to report immediately any evidence of the client not taking medication correctly or if there are discrepancies in medication.

    Support can be a 15 minute check to 24 hour care or more, depending on the wishes and needs of the client.