Understanding My Aged Care
The aged care system consists of programs and services to support Australians aged 65 years and over. The threshold drops to 50 years and over if you are an Indigenous Australian. The information on this web page focuses on those programs and services that may be relevant to people with macular disease.
Aged care can be provided to people in their own homes or in residential aged care facilities.
Support can be short-term or ongoing. And it can include help with daily living, health care, accommodation, and equipment. The Australian Government subsidises many types of aged care services for those who are eligible.
What is My Aged Care?
My Aged Care is the main entry point to Australia’s aged care system. Through My Aged Care you can access information on aged care support services, have your needs assessed, and find service providers.
Are there fees involved?
Yes. Aged care services are only partially subsidised by the Australian Government. That means co-payments are often required. So, what will you pay? That depends on the type of care you’re eligible for and the provider you choose. Your financial situation and the services you receive will also be taken into account.
Further information regarding fees can be found on the My Aged Care website.
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible for government-funded aged care services if you:
- are 65 years of age or older (50 years or older if you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person)
- need help to do the things you want to do.
You may be eligible at from age 50 (or age 45 if you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) if you:
- are on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless
- have a disability, dementia or other care needs not met through other specialist services.
To receive aged care support, you need to be assessed as eligible. That assessment is a two-part process. Firstly, you’ll need to have a phone call with My Aged Care to discuss your eligibility. Then that’s followed by an in-person assessment to determine the level of support you require.
What type of support can I receive?
There are three main programs that provide government-funded support. In addition to assistance with daily living, health care and accommodation, you may be able to access support for vision loss.
These three programs offer different levels of support and have different fee structures. Contact our National Helpline for more information.
National Helpline1800 111 709
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
Under the CHSP, you can receive entry-level support services to help you live independently and safely at home. So, for example, you can ask for cleaning, shopping and gardening services.
Community transport is available if you need assistance with travelling to medical appointments.
You may be able to receive subsidised services from low vision service providers through the CHSP. To do this, you’d need to request a referral to a low vision service provider from the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) assessor. Low vision service providers offer services such as mobility training, counselling and low vision assessments.
Home Care Packages
Under the Home Care Packages, you can receive higher levels of support services for more complex care needs. Again, these are services to help you live independently and safely at home, including increased hours of cleaning, shopping and gardening. Once again, community transport is available if you need help getting to medical appointments.
You can spend your package funds on low vision services, such as low vision assistive technology. But to do that you’ll first need approval from your home care package provider. You can access low vision services by requesting a referral to a low vision service provider from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessor or your home care package provider.
You will need to speak to your residential aged care facility to find out how they can support your access to medical appointments, low vision services, and assistive technology.
Once you’ve been assessed as eligible for aged care services, your assessor will refer you to the relevant service providers. Those service providers will then contact you. Alternatively, ask your assessor for the referral codes for each service you are eligible for. You can then use these codes to source a provider by yourself.
Service providers offer services differently and charge different costs. So it is really important that you make sure you understand the differences between providers before making a decision.
Due to the high demand for some of the aged care support services, be aware that you may have to wait until services become available.
For that reason, it’s important you start accessing support as soon as you think you’ll need it.
Your assessor will be able to advise if you need to wait. They should also be able to tell you how long that wait will be.
If your needs change, you’ll have to be reassessed before any changes can be made to the level of support that you receive.