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Home Care VS Residential Aged Care: Which is The Better Option?

5 March, 2020

Can't decide between a Home Care Package or moving into a Residential Aged Care Facility? We investigate the benefits of each so that you can choose which option is best for you.

This decision is a very personal one and will vary depending on your values and life circumstances. Many people want to live at home for as long as possible and will only move into residential care when the level of required care becomes unmanageable. While residential care offers around the clock clinical care, nowadays, home care workers are able to meet increasingly complex demands. This allows elderly Australians to opt for a more economically priced homecare package instead.

In July last year, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission developed standards in order to empower aged care recipients to play a more central role in the services they want to receive. As a result, these standards have encouraged all aged care services to tighten up internal processes. This is great news, especially for those receiving the services who can expect a higher standard of care.

What is Home Care?

As the name suggests, home care involves being cared for in the comfort of your own home by qualified care workers. A Home Care Package provides federal government funded services to help you remain living independently in your own home for as long as possible. This is done with the help of a team of care managers, care workers, nurses, doctors, art therapists and allied health professionals who provide multiple holistic support services based on your individual needs and level of care.

What is Residential Aged Care?

Residential Aged Care allows you to receive care by moving to a facility that houses other people requiring care. This allows for all of the services you require, such as nursing and general healthcare as well as social activities to be held in the same place.

Here are some important factors to note when deciding between Home Care and Residential Care.

1. Level of Support

One of the main benefits to Home Care Services is that they can be completely tailored to your unique needs. This includes everything from domestic assistance, personal care, cleaning, meal preparation, transportation, shopping, at home art therapy sessions, home nursing and everything in between.

If you require a high level of support, you might be better suited to a Residential Aged Care facility. Here, you will receive around the clock care from clinical staff. However, it’s important to note that this type of care is less tailored and typically more of a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The facility needs to meet the demands of all of their residents and a tailored program for each individual is hard to manage. If you’re considering moving to a residential facility, it’s important to research and choose the best facility for your needs.

2. Community

The nature of Home Care Services is to keep people living independently for as long as possible. This allows you to keep up with your unique hobbies and maintain a connection to your neighbours and local community. Home Care Packages also offer transportation services to support your social commitments. For some, it may be important to see their grandchild’s theatre production and for others it might be attending a weekly book club. Whatever the case, your care worker will take you where you want to go. Additionally, care workers are interviewed and paired with clients who share similar interests, cultural backgrounds, languages and hobbies. This helps to foster a natural friendship and connection.

Some home care providers are going above and beyond to develop a sense of community for their clients. Focus Care, for example, plans many social events and activities throughout the year. We encourage our clients to socialise with each other and offer new and fun experiences.

Focus Care clients attending a fantastic event at Campsie Library. Leonard Janiscewski chronicled the history of Greek cafes and milk bars in Australia. The nature of Residential Aged Care facilities is to keep people of the same age group living in one designated area. Most residential facilities offer different types of activities to keep residents socially connected and develop a sense of community. While there are many activities, they are on a schedule and adhere to a time-line so there is little room for flexibility and choice.

3. Cost

With Australia's ageing population increasing , there are more challenges for the Australian economy. As a way to alleviate the strain, the government is now offering home care packages to help the elderly stay at home. For some context, from 2017 to 2018, the government spent over $18 billion on aged care . 67% of that money (over 12 billion) went to residential aged care, while 28% (5 billion) was spent on home care and support services.

The price you pay depends on the provider you choose, your financial situation, and the complexity of the type services you require. The fees depend on what type of care you have been assessed for by My Aged Care and what you are eligible for.

- Cost of Home Care

This option is usually the more economical choice for families.

If you are eligible for a Home Care Package then you may have to pay:

  • a basic daily fee, or

  • a basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee.

To calculate how much you will need to pay you can check out the Australia's ageing population increasing on the My Aged Care website .

You can also learn more about the Home Care Packages that we offer here at Focus Care.

- Cost of Residential Aged Care

The price of an Aged Care Facility depends on many different factors. Everything from the quality of your room, extra features, and the location. It can take time to find the right one that fits your budget and preference.

If you are eligible for an aged care home then you may have to pay:

  • a basic daily fee, or

  • a basic daily fee and accommodation costs, or

  • a basic daily fee and a means-tested care fee and accommodation costs.

To calculate how much you will need to pay you can check out the residential care fee estimator on the My Aged Care website .

Choosing the right option for you

At the end of the day, the decision of remaining at home or moving to an aged care facility is a matter of personal preference and life circumstance.

The best part about Home Care Services is that there is very little disruption. There is no need to move or sell your family home to afford a room. Your pets can stay with you and life can continue as it is, just with a little bit more help. However, a residential facility might be a good option for someone who wants to live amongst people in their age group. It’s also an opportunity to downsize, make new friends and attend structured activities.

In most cases, the majority of Australia's ageing population would rather be at home than in an aged care facility . The ageing population’s demand for better, more personalised care is influencing how and where the Australian Government allocates funds for aged care. Thankfully, home care is at the forefront of these changes.

If you are having difficulty deciding between the two or want to learn more about our Home Care Packages then contact us today for more information.

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