Migrating to Australia: residential aged care27 July 2016 by News Desk
Migrating to Australia is a lifetime move taken to secure a better future, so what happens when you get old?
If you’re migrating to Australia aged care services may not be top of your list but “It is can be a vital element when considering the future,” says Darrell Todd, founder of thinkingaustralia.
So what services are available should you or a member of your family require residential aged care in future?
For those thinking of migrating to Australia it’s worth knowing there are two types of care provided in residential aged care facilities: permanent and respite care. Throughout 2015, almost all people who received either type of care (97%) were aged 65 and over, and nearly half of all people who received respite care were later admitted to permanent care.
Of all Australians aged 70 and over, almost 1 in 10 are in permanent residential aged care and 2% received respite at some time during the year. For people aged 85 and over, the proportions in care were three times greater – 30% in permanent and 6% in respite residential aged care respectively.
Migrating to Australia – permanent residential care
When people can no longer be supported to live independently in the community, they may move into a residential aged care facility permanently.
First, an ACAT assesses a person and provides approval for the type and level of care they are eligible to apply for. Individuals entering permanent care are no longer approved for a particular level of care.
After a person enters permanent care, the Aged Care Funding Instrument confirms the level of care required, calculating an overall score which is then used to determine a government subsidy amount.
Respite residential aged care
People who live in the community can receive short-term respite care in aged care facilities. Respite care is available on either a planned or emergency basis to older people who intend to return to their own home, but require temporary residential aged care.
It supports older people in transition stages of health, as well as providing carers with a break from their caring duties. Respite care is offered as either low or high care. The government provides a pre-determined, corresponding subsidy amount; respite residential aged care does not use the ACFI.
The Home Care Packages Programme offers an alternative to residential aged care. It is designed to provide clients with an individually tailored and co-ordinated package of services to support them to live independently in the community for as long as possible.
The programme commenced on 1 August 2013, replacing the former community packaged care programs, namely Community Aged Care Packages (CACP), Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) and Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia (EACHD). All new and existing Home Care packages are delivered on a consumer-directed care basis, whereby people may make decisions about the types of care and services they receive within their individualised budget, and the way those services are delivered.
Among people aged 70 and over, 3% received Home Care during the 2014–15 financial year.
Levels of Home Care
Home Care Packages are available at four levels of care, offering progressive support to those with basic, low, intermediate, or high care needs. Existing packages transitioned to the new framework: CACP packages became Home Care Level 2, and EACH and EACHD packages became Home Care Level 4.
Unlike the former community packaged care programs, the type of care available at each Home Care Package level does not differ. Instead, the main difference is the amount of care and services provided, with more available at higher levels. A package contains a range of services to support a person living at home.
These may include transport services, domestic assistance (including meal delivery or preparation and home or garden maintenance and modifications), personal care, social support, aids and equipment, as well as nursing, allied health and other clinical services.
In addition to residential aged care and Home Care, flexible aged care services provide care in mixed delivery settings. The three types of flexible care are Transition Care, Innovative Care (or Pool), and Multi-Purpose Services. They are designed to meet people’s needs in ways other than those provided through mainstream residential aged care and Home Care:
Transition Care Program assisted nearly 25,000 older people through 4,000 operational places to return home after a hospital stay during 2014–15, with an average length of stay of 60 days for completed episodes.
Short-term Restorative Care Programme is also being implemented in 2016 to support older people to continue to live at home following a period of illness or injury. By 2021, 2,000 operational places are expected to be available for this programme. Innovative Care provided 84 operational places in the home care sector.
Multi-Purpose Services provided 3,545 operational places at 30 June 2015, primarily in hospital settings in rural or remote areas where mainstream services were not viable.
Migrating to Australia – care in old age
Australian states spent around $16bn on providing aged care services in 2015.
72%) of operational places in government-funded aged care services were in residential aged care settings with Home Care accounting for 27% of the total 273,503 places.
A total of 231,000 people were in permanent residential aged care. Around 50,000 people were in respite residential aged care and 84,000 people received a Home Care Package.
Two out of every three people in permanent residential aged care are women and 61% are aged 85 and over.
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