Written by Stannah at 26-12-2018
MyAgedCare is the Australian government’s portal for all things aged care. This an integrated platform that offers older adults in Australia home and community based services that can help you safely navigate through your aged care journey. Housework, counselling, social support, help with staying active, maintenance and home modifications that may include the installation of mobility devices like a stairlift, are some of the services offered by MyAgedCare to Australian seniors planning to age in place.
However, the type of care you are eligible for depends on your circumstances, and the gap that you pay to access these services will depend on your income. Let’s see the types of care offered by MyAgedCare in more detail and how you can apply to it.
What type of care can MyAgedCare offer you?
Living independently at an advanced age isn’t without its perils, so doing a bit of research and finding resources and assistance programs like MyAgedCare can be quite useful if you’re planning to age in place in your own home. MyAgedCare offers different types of care, which include help at home, short-term care and aged care homes. Let’s check some of these in more detail.
MyAgedCare services that help you stay safe in your home
Everyone has different needs, but when planning to age in place one of the most important things is to be honest with yourself about your own limitations, like limited mobility for instance. In fact, according to WHO studies, people worldwide over 65 “suffer the greatest number of fatal falls”. A lot of the times, domestic accidents involving seniors happen when people refuse to accept that they may need a little bit of help with daily activities like cooking, shopping or maintaining one’s personal hygiene without having an accident, like getting in and out of the bathtub safely. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of in-home care, and to help you with that MyAgedCare offers a range of services, including:
- Services that help you stay healthy and independent – meal delivery, bathing and grooming, allied with health and therapy services, e.g. occupational therapy.
- Services that help you remain safe in your home – house cleaning, shopping, clearing your backyard of debris, home modifications, equipment and assistive technology, e.g. installing wheelchair ramps or stair lifts.
- Services that help you stay touch with your own community – driver service, group social activities, among others.
And keep in mind that asking for help doesn’t mean you’re less capable or that you need to start thinking about assisted living and what choices do you have when it comes to nursing homes, assisted living facilities or independent living centres in your area. When you ask for help to get a few things done it just means that you get the necessary support and home care so you can continue to live in the home you love for longer and fully embrace the idea of independent living.
Home modifications and accessibility solutions for limited mobility
If you’re planning to remain in your own home as you age in place, a few home modifications can be quite beneficial to reduce trip hazards that might cause you to lose your mobility and independence. Each division can be redesigned according to your specific needs since not all will need the same type of modifications. Home modifications under MyAgedCare include basic modifications and more complex ones. The installation of grab bars and wedges don’t take much work, so they fall into the basic modifications’ category. More complex modifications may include:
- Redesigning your bathroom to include a walking tub or a shower chair.
- Installing durable medical equipment like wheelchair ramps, platform lifts (straight and inclined platform lifts), and stair lifts (for both curved and straight staircases, indoors and outdoors).
However, eligibility for this sort of services is always based on need. If you’ve suffered a fall and have been hospitalised, or if have been diagnosed with reduced mobility or an impairing medical condition, the Australian Government may subsidise the cost of some home modifications depending on your circumstances and care needs.
To get started, you need to choose a service provider that is right for you – go to MyAgedCare and find a service provider in your area that could be a good fit for you. Afterwards, the government will pay your provider a subsidy for a package of care services that meets your needs.
MyAgedCare home care packages’ cost and expected wait time
As everyone’s needs are different, MyAgedCare offers four levels of care packages with different funding amounts. For example, the level 1 basic care package can cost approximately $9,000 a year and the level 4 package for high care needs can reach close to $52,250 a year. However, you’re only expected to help cover some of these costs if you can afford it – fees can range from a basic daily fee (up to $10.75 from 20 March 2020) to income-tested care fee (up to $30.86 from 20 March 2020) or include other additional fees.
After you’ve been considered eligible for a Home Care package, the expected wait time to start benefiting from these services will depend on your package level and how urgent your needs are. Still, the estimated wait time for level 1 package care can go from 3 to 6 months or up to 12+ months for level 4 packages.
Accessibility solutions with MyAgedCare – how stairlifts can help you stay in your home
As we age, it’s very common to experience knee or back pain and when that starts to bother you, one of most recurrent problems you’ll face is having to deal with getting up and down the stairs every day. Research shows us that 60% of accident-related deaths involving older adults happen in stairs or involve steps. Admittedly, some staircases are more hazardous than others, but most of them are not senior-friendly and can seriously jeopardize your home safety.
For people planning to age in place, it might even lead them to reconsider their options and make them think that moving to a bungalow or a flat is the easiest option, but it really isn’t if you think about all the hassle that moving house implies – sorting through all your cherished belongings, packing everything into boxes, saying goodbye to your home, and on top of that trying to sell it and finding a new one within your price range.
Innovative accessibility solutions like stair lifts (also known as lift chairs), platform lifts or home elevators can bring back the convenience and safety that accompanies independent mobility and allows you to remain in your home. When looking at assistive technology tools and accessibility solutions, stair lifts are by far the easiest and most cost effective solution to help you regain your mobility at home, and as part of a complex home modifications package, MyAgedCare can help you cover its cost. The perfect stair lift for your stairs will depend on the type of stairs you have, whether they are straight or curved, indoors or outdoors.
- Curved stair lift– these stair lifts are designed for curved staircases, with multiple landings and turns. When looking at stair lifts you should look for stair lift providers like Stannah that offer costumed curved rails to ensure that your stair lift hugs each curve and bend closely and neatly, so there’s enough room to go around tight corners without bumping your knees.
- Straight stair lifts – this type of stair lift is designed for a straight stair. At Stannah, for example, we can fit a straight stair lift in your staircase even if you have a radiator or door right at the top or bottom of your stairs.
- Outdoor stair lift – these stair lifts are designed for outdoor stairs so their materials should be completely snow-resistant and waterproof. This type of stair lift is particularly beneficial to prevent falls on wet, slippery steps or during the summer when heat waves make it harder for seniors to move around do to swollen ankles.
What can you do if MyAgedCare doesn’t cover the cost of your stairlift?
If MyAgedCare does not cover at least some of the cost of your stair lift, or you do not qualify for any number of reasons, there are a variety of options you can employ to ensure you are provided with safe and secure mobility solution from a trustworthy stair lift provider like Stannah. With a little research and persistence, you’ll be able to acquire the proper financing.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs – The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is a great resource that provides assistance for veterans and helps them find ways to cover stair lifts cost. Here you can find information on how veterans can request support for home modifications and the Home/Access Modifications Assessment Form needed for all major modifications.
- NDIS– The National Disability Insurance Scheme is for people under 65’s (or 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) who have difficultly performing tasks that others would not have a problem with because of a disability. You may be eligible for help with a stair lift in your home with this service. Access the NDIS site for more information.
- icare– If you live in NSW and have been severely injured either on the road or in the workplace you may have access to services supplied by the NSW government. Visit the icare website for more info.
- Medicare – Medicare is a regionally administered, universal public health insurance program. However, not all durable medical equipment is covered by Medicare and in those cases, States are responsible for providing means-tested access to medical equipment. Find a care service provider and ask them to check if you could be eligible for help to cover a stair lift cost.
- Private insurance– It may require some perseverance, but some private health insurance carriers will cover some of the cost of a stair lift. It will take some negotiation as your first claim may be denied. However, be sure to emphasize the importance of a stair lift and its ability to help you age comfortably and safely in your own home. You might look through the wording of your policy for mobility – a key term here.
- Grants– Charitable funding may be available from local non-profit organizations. Your first step should be to contact Independent Living Centres Australia. You will be able to speak with experts about your situation and locate sources of funding and grants for your stairlift.
- Buying used– Just like a house or car, buying a used stairlift is a great option to save money. Be sure to purchase from a reputable distributor. Try your best to avoid independent sellers as they do not provide the same comprehensive inspection and repair process, nor do they typically offer a warranty.
For more information on other avenues to try, browse this resource from Carer Gateway.
- Payment plans and bank loans– Lack of mobility can be frustrating, and help is usually required immediately. With payment plans and bank loans, you are able to receive the comfort and convenience of a stairlift now and pay it off over an extended period.
- Rental / Rent-to-Own– If purchasing a stairlift is not the most cost effective solution for your budget, renting a stair lift may be your next best option. If you’re satisfied with the product after renting, you may have the option to then purchase the equipment.
Ageing in place with a Stannah stair lift
Ageing in place is the dream of many Australians who have spent their lives building memories in their family homes. Accessibility solutions like a Stannah stair lift are the best way to ensure you get to live comfortably in your own home for longer. And having caregiving resources like MyAgedCare that help to make that possible is an added benefit since they can help you access several aged care services. To learn more about the program, you should visit MyAgedCare website or call them on 1800 200 422 from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday, or 10 am – 2 pm on Saturdays.
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the benefits of having a Stannah stair lift and how you can regain your freedom of movement at home with one, get in touch with us and a stairlift expert will be ready to answer all of your questions and help you find the right stair lift to fit your mobility needs and your home.
- MyAged Care – Types of care
- WHO – Facts about Falls
- The Independent Living Centres of Australia
- Carer Gateway – Help and advice – At home
- Case Study Home Modification Practice in Australia
- International Health Care System Profiles – Australia
- Australian Government – Equipment and modifications for you and your home