What is Home and Community Care?
Home and Community Care Explained
Home and community care refers to a specific type of care service commonly used by the elderly and those living with a disability. Home care is an alternative to living in an aged care facility. It is appropriate for many people who have trouble performing normal daily functions like cooking, cleaning and taking care of their personal hygiene. These people might not need the full care services provided by an old age home, but also can’t live completely independently. ‘Meals on wheels’ is probably one of the best known home and community care services on offer. Other services offered can include home help (assistance with tasks like housework, laundry and shopping), modifications to homes, home maintenance, transport, personal care (help with eating, dressing and bathing), counselling, social support, nursing and other health care services.
Australia has an ‘ageing’ population. Our fertility rate is low and our life expectancy keeps increasing. Residential care facilities are struggling to keep up with the demand for places and the situation is likely to get worse in coming decades.
Having services like home and community care that alleviate the strain is an important part of the broader plan for aged care in Australia. It is an important service that can keep people living in their own homes and enjoying a high quality of life for longer.
For people living with a disability, home and community care is also essential. Rather than being trapped in an old age home as a young person because they are unable to fully care for themselves, disabled persons can get the assistance they need through home care services. This allows them to continue living and socialising in their own community, with people their own age.
How can you access home care services?
To find out if you’re eligible for government subsidised aged care services you should contact your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), a group of health professionals who can assist you with working out the type of care that will best serve your personal needs. Anyone can refer you to an ACAT – a health care professional such as a doctor, a carer or even you. Once you’ve made an appointment, a member of your local ACAT team will come and visit you in your home, at the hospital or elsewhere. They will go through a series of questions with you and then discuss their assessment with you. Aged Care Assessment Team members can be doctors or nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologist or any other appropriate health care professional.
More Information about Home and Community Care
For more information or to find a Home and Community Care service provider in your area, contact the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 200 422 (free call)
If you’re intersted in starting a career as a front line home and communit care worker, check out the Certificate III in Home and Community Care course!
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