The Difference Between Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)

In seeking the right type of care to support you at home, people often ask about the difference between a Home Care Package and a Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). Following is an explanation of the key differences between the two, to help you decide which one you need.

Overall, the CHSP services offers lighter touch help if and when you need it, but has very specific rules about how much and how often a service may be provided, and is offered on a more ad-hoc basis, whereas the government’s Home Care Packages is a more structured and regular support service, helping you develop a lifestyle to remain at home comfortably and safely.

Sometimes CHSP services are used when people are waiting for a home care package to be approved as this can take up to a year or more. But if CHSP does not provide the level of support you need at home, then you may need to consider private home care services as an interim solution.

The difference between funding for CHSP and Home Care Packages

Home care packages are available as four different levels: Level 1&2 for basic care needs, and Levels 3&4 for higher care needs. The funding for these packages starts at approximately $8,000 per year and goes up to $50,000 per year.

CHSP is a lighter touch service providing basic support if and when you need it and therefore the funding is much less.

CHSP requires out of pocket expenses depending on what the provider charges. However, with home care packages, you may have no out of pocket expenses as a pensioner. This will depend on your circumstances with each case being assessed individually.

The services offered under CHSP and Home Care

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) provides short term, light support with domestic assistance, personal care, home maintenance, nursing care, transport, respite care and meal assistance.

CHSP covers a wide range of services but it is limited in terms of its delivery. Often care workers will be restricted on what they can and cannot do in the home leaving little flexibility if you need some additional help. For example, they often cannot do anything outside the house if their CHSP code only covers them for indoors. But it does serve a purpose for short term assistance if and when you need it.

With home care support however, you are developing a longer term relationship with your care provider which means they will be there for you when you need and as the years go by. It gives you more peace of mind. If for example you need to go to hospital for a few days, your home care provider will support you at home after your hospital stay to help you recuperate faster. They know your home, your preferences and routine and all of this makes the experience much better for you.

The list of home care services provided under a home care package are listed here.

How the provider delivers services under CHSP and Home Care

With CHSP you will have different providers for different purposes. Depending on their capacity and what they are set up to do, one may provide gardening assistance and the other may provide home maintenance help.

Often CHSP providers have less capacity to offer their services toward the end of June as their funding has run out, which means you need to wait until the new financial year to get the services you need. Availability can be unpredictable.

With home care packages you have choices - you research your options, choose your provider and develop a relationship with them over time. When you need them, they are there to help with the same care workers and services, providing a sense of security.

How you are assessed for CHSP vs Home Care

For a home care package you will need an ACAT Assessment to determine the right level of care for your lifestyle. With CHSP, there is no ACAT assessment required. Instead a CHSP provides a RAS assessor who will help you work out services you may need at home and then deliver these on an as needed basis.

A home care plan on the other hand provides a dedicated care coordinator who knows your history and helps you develop a home care plan addressing your lifestyle needs with specific goals. It is more involved with your and your lifestyle and you essentially become part of the St Louis care network and family.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) has been extended until June 2022

The government recently announced, as part of the 2019 Australian Government Budget package, that funding for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) will be extended from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2022. So you will be able to utilise your CHSP services for a few years yet while you wait for your home care package if this is what you choose.

St Louis offers Government Funded Home Care Packages and Private Home Care Services

If you are using CHSP and finding that it is not enough support for what you need, or if you are using it as interim support service while waiting for your home care package to be approved, then you may like to consider our private home care services instead. The St Louis Lifestyles Program offers home care services that are tailored to you and your needs, with a dedicated care coordinator who manages your overall care with a team of care workers.

Call St Louis Home Care in Adelaide on 8332 0950 or St Louis Home Care in Victor Harbor on 8552 2481 to further discuss how we can help you at home.

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