If you are investigating aged care options for yourself or a loved one for the first time, it can feel confusing and overwhelming. Where do I start? What do I need to know? There are a variety of different paths to take, and this blog is to help you make the right decision for you or your loved one.
It is important to realise that there is no right or wrong answer when seeking support, it is all about you and your needs and lifestyle.
What is Residential Care?
Residential care is the model we are all probably most familiar with when thinking about aged care for the first time. It is where you leave your home to live in other long-term accommodation. This can be independent living in retirement villages, assisted care facilities where some support is provided, or an aged care (nursing) home for those that need much greater levels of support.
Aged Care homes are subsidised by the Australian Government, to provide care that is available 24 hours a day.
What is Home Care?
Home Care (In-home aged care) provides support for you to continue living independently in your home for as long as possible. This is often a great first step for an older person who needs some support but is reluctant to leave their home and move into residential care. Accept Care specialises in Home Care services, and can help with things like personal care, transport, food, shopping, housework, physio, social activities, and modifications to your home.
Home Care is also subsidised by the Government, with two different levels of support:
- entry-level support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme
- support for more complex needs through Home Care Packages.
Is there a difference in terms of the care and support you will receive?
One of the key considerations when seeking aged care help is, of course, the level of support you are going to receive.
Home Care support is completely tailored to suit you and your needs. The carer or carers you choose to work for you are coming to your home to support you, and only you. You have a say in what help you receive from the vast range of services on offer, and when you receive it.
Residential Care is well suited to an older person needing more intensive help. One of the major drawbacks is that there is a lower degree of flexibility. The carers are working for all the residents and trying to meet all their needs and requirements. Although the level of care and support is still high, there is less flexibility and choice.
At Accept Care, we make sure you are matched with a carer who suits your needs and lifestyle. It is part of ensuring your care services are perfectly tailored to you.
Your happiness, health and independence matters!
As they say, home is where the heart is! In a 2015 survey* of people aged over 60, an overwhelming 83% said they would prefer to stay living in their home as they age. Only 6% said their choice would be living in a retirement village, and even less people – only 1% – said they would choose to live in a residential aged care facility. Clearly, Home Care is being seen as an increasingly popular choice for aged care support.
Care options relating to stage of life
Home Care support is best for older people who are able to still live happily and independently at home with some personalised support. If you don’t have complex health or mobility needs, it can be possible for you to stay in your home for the rest of your life with sufficient Home Care support.
Residential Care is increasingly becoming the choice for those nearing end-of-life. A recent report* indicates that the average age for men entering permanent residential aged care was 82.3, and women 84.6
It is important to note that this same report showed that the average length of stay for each person entering permanent residential care was just under 3 years. This indicates that people are only choosing to enter residential aged care when they have significant health issues.
Choosing the right option for you
At the end of the day, the decision of staying at home or moving into an aged care facility is a matter of personal choice and circumstance.
The best part about Home Care is that your life really can continue as usual with very little disruption. You can continue living in your familiar surrounds, with just a little more help.
However, residential care may be a good option if you live alone, want to downsize, make new friends, and attend structured activities. Sometimes this decision is necessary due to significant health issues and the need for constant support.
While residential care offers around the clock care, these days home care workers can meet increasingly complex demands. This allows older Australians wanting to continue living at home to do just that. At Accept Care, we can work with you and your family to make sure you are comfortable and safe in your own home and can help you access government funding.
If you need advice about Home Care vs Residential care including cost differences, or want to discuss Home Care options, talk to our friendly team on 08 8251 5186 or contact us.
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*Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997, 2018-2019.