Stay At Home Care

Help Available
Most older Australians choose to stay in their present home, move in with relatives or friends or move to a smaller home. Many will eventually need help to stay at home.

  • Community Care Services
    The aim of community care is to enable people to remain living in their own home. There is generally a fee for services.
    For more information see the Australian Government’s Community Care page.
  • Commonwealth Carelink Centres
    Centres throughout Australia provide information to older Australians, their families, carers, general practitioners, other health professionals or anyone else who needs reliable information and guidance about community care services and aged care homes available in the local community. The service is free and confidential. Go to the Commonwealth Carelink Centre page for details including the locations of all Centres. Phone Freecall 1800 052 222 and you will be connected to the nearest centre.
  • Home and Community Care (HACC)
    HACC provides services to people in their own homes. While it is for people of all ages who require assistance most HACC recipients are pensioners and some 40% are over 80 years old. Services include personal care, community nursing, health and respite care, delivered meals, home help, home modification and maintenance, banking, shopping assistance, transport, counselling, information and advocacy. A Commonwealth Carelink Centre can advise on services available in your area. More on HACC.

    On the HACC website go to Publications for The HACC Program and Aged Services in Australia: A Guide for Older People and Community Care for Older People and People with Disabilities: Explaining the HACC Program.

  • Community Aged Care Package (CACP)
    CACPs provide an alternative to hostel based residential care. They are for people who would otherwise be eligible for low level residential care and supply an intensive level of home care with the aim of enabling older people to remain at home. You have to have an assessment first by an Aged Care Assessment Team to determine if a CACP is appropriate for your needs. In most cases, you will be charged a fee for your Community Aged Care Package. For more information see the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing CACP page.
  • Veteran’s Home Care
    This program is to help veterans and war widows/widowers remain in their own homes. The services provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs include community nursing, in-home and residential respite care, allied health services, home modifications, transport for health care, domestic assistance, personal care, home and garden maintenance and respite care. Fees are payable. See the DVA Veterans’ Home Care page.
  • Home Maintenance and Modification Service
    The Home and Community Care program has a Home Maintenance and Modification Service for eligible non-veterans. Through it there can be installation of ramps and handrails and bathroom modifications to ensure frail, aged or disabled people are safe in their homes. Home maintenance incluses such things as changing a light globe, repairing door locks, removing rubbish and roof repairs.
  • Homeshare
    Homeshare is a program that brings together older householders who could benefit from help in the home and companionship, with people prepared to lend a hand in return for free accommodation. Homeshare is a shared housing arrangement based on the barter system. The householder provides a bedroom and shares facilities. The homesharer provides up to 10 hours a week of practical assistance around the home such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, company and the security of someone sleeping in the home. Homeshare is presently available in Melbourne and Sydney. Go to the Homeshare website for more information and contacts.
  • Day Therapy Centres
    DTCs throughout Australia provide a range of therapy services to assist the frail aged to either maintain or recover a level of independence, which will allow them to remain either in the community or in low level residential care. The services may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and podiatry. There may be a fee for these services. There are over 150 centres around Australia, mostly located at aged care homes. Their services are available to the residents of those homes and to frail older people living in the community. More information.
  • Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH)
    This program provides an option for older people with high and complex care needs to be supported in their own homes. ACAT assessment is a prerequisite. Find out more about the EACH program.
  • Multipurpose Services (MPS)
    This is a Commonwealth/State government initiative to provide improved ways of meeting the health and aged care needs of people living in rural and remote communities where traditional services may not be feasible. An MPS brings together the local health and aged care services under one management structure and may include residential aged care, palliative care and HACC services including community nursing, domestic assistance and meals on wheels, integrated services for young children including infant welfare, immunisation and parenting information, mental health, radiology, women’s health and podiatry. More about MPS.
  • Aids, Appliances and Equipment
    The health, human services or disability departments of state/territory governments have programs to make available to eligible people many aids, appliances and equipment to help you live at home or in a retirement village. The programs have different names, different services and different eligibility requirements. Contact your relevant state/territory department for details. Examples of state/territory programs:

    Also see Independent Living Centres. The Centres display a comprehensive range of products and equipment to assist with day to day living and you can try out products and equipment and select those most suitable before you buy. They offer information and unbiased advice from health professionals. The Centres do not sell or hire out items but can provide supplier details and approximate prices.

    You can also buy items to assist living in the home. In addition to checking the range in local pharmacies, look in the Yellow Pages under “Disabled Persons’ Equipment &/orServices” and “Invalid Aids &/or Equipment”.