The Support at Home Program - The Future of Home Care Packages

The new Support at Home Program will replace Home Care Packages in the near future. Read on to learn more about this next stage of aged care.

Haisey Home Care
May 3, 2024
x min read

The Support at Home Program will replace Home Care Packages. 

But why is this happening? And how will this new program change aged care in Australia?

The Australian Government is reforming in-home aged care to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Home Care Packages will merge with other aged care programs in July 2025. 

The goal is to create one senior care program for all elderly Australians who wish to continue living at home rather than move to a nursing facility. 

If you want to know more about this new era of aged care in Australia, keep reading. 

What Is the Support at Home Program?

The Support at Home Program is the next step of Australian aged care.

 It's the government's new aged care program that will come into effect as of July 2025.

The Support at Home Program will replace the following aged care programs:

  1. Home Care Packages (HCP)
  2. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
  3. The Short-Term Restorative Care Programme (STRC)
  4. Residential respite programs

All these programs will merge into the Support at Home Program.

Elderly Australians have several aged care options to choose from, including Home Care Packages.

Each program comes with different rules regarding assessment, eligibility, funding, and service providers. Many participants are discouraged by the complicated process and the possible unfair outcomes of their assessments. 

Elderly individuals with the same needs tend to receive different supports. As a result, not enough funding goes to direct care. 

There are many other issues with the current system, including:

  • Long wait times
  • Expensive provider fees
  • Too many accumulated unspent funds
  • Varying availability of services according to location

The Support at Home program aims to address all these issues. The goal is to make the transition to home care as easy and streamlined as possible.  

When Will the Support at Home Program Start?

According to the Australian Government, the Support at Home Program will be set into motion in 2025. 

It will replace Home Care Packages and the Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme by 1 July 2025. 

But, home care providers and STRC providers will have to start getting ready for this transition much earlier. 

When it comes to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, this program won't be replaced yet. 

The CHSP won't transition into the new program until 1 July 2027. 

This gives CHSP providers plenty of time to adapt to these new changes.

Some details are still being finalised, which is why it will take so long for these changes to take effect. 

What Will Change?

The Support at Home Program aims to improve aged care in Australia. 

This new program will bring about some changes in the aged care sector, including:

  • The eligibility assessment process
  • The level of control seniors will have over their care plans
  • More affordable and transparent fees
  • Improved quality of care and safety
  • Greater access to equipment, home modifications, and goods

You can expect every aspect of the aged care application process to be improved.

There will be a new single-assessment system, which should be introduced in July 2024. 

The Royal Commission considers that the four Home Care Package levels are too broad. 

Once their care needs are assessed, elderly individuals will receive individualised service approvals. This wouldn't only depend on your care needs but personal circumstances as well. 

Participants will also have more options when it comes to home care providers.

There will be distinct service categories, including: 

  1. Independence at home
  2. Social connections
  3. Personal care
  4. Health and specialised support
  5. Care management
  6. Digital technologies, equipment, and home modifications
  7. Respite care

Each category will contain different service types and subcategories.

For instance, the independence at home category will include domestic assistance, home maintenance, meals, digital monitoring, etc.

Care management will be considered a service type. This service will be for those with a more complex mix of services who need care coordination.

How Will Seniors Be Tested for Eligibility?

Just like with Home Care Packages, the elderly person will have to go through a formal assessment. 

This test will determine whether they're eligible for government-funded aged care. 

The new assessment for aged care is called the single assessment system. It will replace the:

  1. Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
  2. Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs)
  3. Independent Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) assessors

The current assessment for Home Care Packages is conducted by Aged Care Assessment Teams. 

If you want to sign up for the Support at Home Program, you'll have to go through the new assessment system.

It will assess eligibility for all aged care programs. This includes home care, residential care, respite care, and transition care.

This new system aims to make the application process much easier. 

And who will be eligible? The single assessment system will primarily look at two factors:

  • The care recipient's care needs 
  • The types of care services for which they may be eligible 

After the assessment, the person will receive an Individualised Support Plan.

Why Is Aged Care Changing?

These changes are being made because of the Royal Commission's report on Aged Care Quality and Safety. 

The report considers many factors, including:

  1. The quality of in-home aged care and residential care
  2. The safety of care recipients 
  3. The quality of services received by young people with disabilities 

The Royal Commission wants to make aged care as accessible as possible for those who need it. 

According to this report, there were 148 recommendations for improving the current aged care program. 

The Support at Home Program aims to deliver aged care services in the best possible way. 

What Will Happen to Haisey Home Care?

Haisey Home Care will continue to deliver top-quality care to all our clients. 

We will prepare for the changes when the time comes. But until then, we will make sure our elderly care recipients are getting the support they need.

If there are any changes, we will keep you updated.

If you have any questions about our services or what they will look like in the future, feel free to reach out to us.