Maintaining independence is one of the most important priorities for people as they age. While overall continuing to live at home is manageable, there can come a time when a little help can go a long way to keep people living independently in their community.
This is where Newcastle and Hunter Community Health can step in to provide a range of services to help manage day-to-day activities. This can include something as simple as transport to appointments or activities, to home maintenance, right through to personal care and nursing services.
It may be the case that services are needed only on a short-term basis, such after a hospital stay, to help people get back on their feet. It may also be the case that over time, the level of services needed to stay living at home gradually increases. Whatever the level of support needed, we are here to help.
Through the Australian Governments’ Home Care Package Program, funding is available to help provide these services. It can be difficult to know where to begin, but Newcastle and Hunter Community Health can help you unpack the process and on the journey towards supported independence.
Firstly, to be eligible to access services under the Home Care Package Program, you or your loved one must be aged 65 years and over (50 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people).
Step one is to either visit My Aged Care via its website or phone the contact centre on 1800 200 422. Here you will need to answer questions about current needs and circumstances so a referral can be arranged for appropriate aged care assessment services.
Once a referral has been deemed appropriate, the My Aged Care contact centre then arranges for a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) assessor to arrange a free face-to-face assessment in your home. It’s a good idea to have a family member, friend or carer part of the conversation as a support.
From here, your RAS assessor will work with you to develop a personalised home support plan tailored directly to your needs. Assessors can send ‘referral for service’ to appropriate providers such as Newcastle and Hunter Community Health to let them know you are a new client and would like to engage their services, and the provider will contact you to make arrangements.
Alternatively, if you would like to visit or speak to a service provide to decide if they are the right fit for you, a ‘referral code’ which allows them to view your client record. The provider will review your identified needs and determine how they can assist and then you make the final decision on whether to engage their services.
In the event there are no services available at the time, you will be placed on a waitlist with those who have the highest level of need offered services first.
Once your provider arrangements are in place, you can start receiving the assistance you need, safe in the knowledge that your independence remains.
For further information on how Newcastle and Hunter Community Health can help you maintain independence and remain safely in your own home, visit our website or call 4920 1637.