Most of us want to stay in our own homes as we age, but we might need some assistance to do so. And there’s the expense. How much will it cost to get help with gardening and household chores?

In this episode Heidri Brook, financial advocate with the Older Persons Advocacy Network explains the ins and outs of arranging help to stay at home, and the likely costs.

There are two main types of care covering basic, and more complex needs. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) offers financial help with one or two activities. For more complex home help, the Home Care Package (HCP) may be more suitable.

First you need to arrange for an assessment through My Aged Care. This will determine your needs. The services performed by providers across Australia are subsidised, so you will pay a modest contribution. Costs vary but are usually around eleven dollars per hour. If you can’t afford to pay, talk to the provider. Your pension will not be affected by receiving the service, and the CHSP is not means tested.

Home care packages are means tested, and there are different levels from one to four depending on need. You also pay a contribution to receive the services. The basic fee is around eleven dollars with a higher fees if you earn more than the threshold amount.

Getting some affordable help with home and personal care might make the difference between staying in your home, and moving to aged care.

More information:

My Aged Care: costs and fees

My Aged Care: How much will I pay

Arranging an assessment

Australian Seniors: funding aged care costs

My Aged Care: Help at home

Older Persons Advocacy Network: accessing aged care

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