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Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

If you want to stay in your own home, but need some help with daily tasks, or require entry level care, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) may be able to help.

Key points:

  • If you require basic support or care, the CHSP will assist you in making life easier

  • You will need to be assessed by the Regional Assessment Team (RAS) before you can receive services through the CHSP

  • The CHSP is considered a base level of support and care compared to a Home Care Package

Older woman enjoying her independence at home with her dog
CHSP offers entry level support to older people who are mostly able to live and cope on their own. [Source: Shutterstock]

What is the CHSP?

Funded by the Australian Government, the CHSP is an entry level home help programme for older people who are mostly, but not completely, able to live and cope on their own and don’t yet need higher levels of support at home. 

A home support assessment conducted by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) is required to access Government subsidised support at home.

The Programme can also help your carer. If your carer needs to attend to everyday activities, the CHSP can arrange for someone to help you while they are away.

If you have more complex needs, a Home Care Package (HCP) may be right for you. You can access similar services to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, but on top of this, the services are coordinated and tailored to meet your specific needs.

What types of services are provided?

CHSP services provided in the community may include:

  • Social support – social activities in a community-based group setting

  • Transport – help to get out and about for shopping or appointments

Services provided at home may include:

  • 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

Some CHSP services can be provided either at a community centre or in your home. 

These can include:

Food services

If you are finding it difficult to prepare meals, services may include providing meals at a community centre, helping with shopping for food, preparing and storing food in your home, and delivering meals to your home.

Allied health support services

If you have particular health problems, for example with speech or walking, or need help with ongoing problems resulting from an accident or illness, you may be able to access allied health services. They include:

  • Physiotherapy (exercises, mobility, strength and balance)

  • Podiatry (foot care)

  • Speech pathology

  • Occupational therapy (help to recover or maintain your physical ability)

  • Advice from a dietitian (healthy eating)

Older woman receiving carer assistance while shopping
Services include help with shopping or meals preparation. [Source: Shutterstock]

Is a CHSP right for me?

If you are 65 years or older, or 50 years or older and identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, are still living at home and need help to continue living independently, you or your carer can apply for home help services by contacting the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422.

You will need a home support assessment to determine your eligibility and the level of support you need.

How does the CHSP assessment work?

To determine exactly what help you will need at home you need to undergo a home support assessment by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

The RAS will ask you a number of questions about your personal circumstances and look at your ability to cope with various activities in your daily living. 

Together, you will be able to work out what sort of help and how much you need, and what it might cost. The RAS will also make sure you meet the eligibility criteria.

Who pays for CHSP services?

While the Australian Government funds the CHSP service providers, so they can deliver affordable services to you, there is a fee for each service. The amount you contribute depends on your income and the type and number of services you require.

What you pay is discussed and agreed upon between you and the service provider. The rate is set before you receive the relevant services. To find out specific costs, you should contact your service provider.

A carer helping an older woman get out the car.
CHSP can provide help with transport to get out and about for shopping or appointments. [Source: Shutterstock]

Who provides the CHSP?

There is a wide range of local service providers you can choose from who provide aged care services – whether it is a nurse to visit you at home, or a physiotherapist or other health expert, or just someone to clean the house.

About the CHSP

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme was introduced on 1 July 2015 and brought together the:

  • Home and Community Care (HACC) Programme

  • National Respite for Carers Programme (NRCP)

  • Day Therapy Centres (DTC)

  • Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA)

If you are already receiving services under an existing program, these will continue unchanged unless your circumstances change and the support you receive needs to be reassessed.

What basic support would you love to have around your home? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
Home Care Packages (HCP)
How to have the "home care talk" with your parents

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