What is the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)?
CHSP is a government program that supports older people who are still managing well at home, but want some extra assistance, such as home help, delivered meals, personal care or home maintenance. The service is subsidised by government, but you have to pay some fees.
Many people use CHSP when they need low-level support. As their needs become more intensive or complex, requiring some case management assistance, they can be referred for a Home Care Package.
What services does CHSP provide?
The CHSP offers a range of home and community care services including:
- social support – social activities in a community-based group setting, Day Centre programs
- transport – help to get out and about for shopping or appointments
- domestic assistance – household jobs like cleaning, clothes washing and ironing
- personal care – help with bathing or showering, dressing, hair care and going to the toilet
- home maintenance – minor general repair and care of your house or yard, for example, changing light bulbs or replacing tap washers
- home modification – minor installation of safety aids such as alarms, ramps and support rails in your home
- nursing care – a qualified nurse comes to your home and may, for example, dress a wound or provide continence advice
- respite care – supporting carers by providing respite care options
- housing support – assistance with housing options for vulnerable older people
- food services – meals at a community centre; help to shop for, prepare or store food; meal delivery to your home
- allied health support services – such as physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, podiatry, dietician etc.
What is the difference between Home Care Packages and the CHSP?
Home Care Packages and the CHSP both give you support to stay at home. But there are differences between the programs.
With the CHSP, you:
- choose from a set menu of services – there isn’t much flexibility
- only pay for the services you use
- can dip in and out of the program as you need things
- have your eligibility assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).
With a Home Care Package:
- a case manager or case adviser helps you understand the system and work out a Care Plan that suits your individual needs and preferences
- you get your own funds to use and can decide how to spend it, rather than choosing from a menu
- once you have a package, it stays in place for the long term
- your eligibility is assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
What is the Regional Assessment Service (RAS)?
RAS are the assessors who visit you at home to assess which services you can use under the CHSP. You may need a new assessment each time you want to use a different service under this program. It’s a good idea to think about whether you might need to use any of the range of CHSP services in advance, to save you having to go through the whole referral and assessment process again.
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