Just over half of Australians aged over 65 years old live with a disability, with almost 20 percent of older Australians living with a profound or severe disability.
The likelihood of living with disability increases with age - two out of five people with disability are aged 65 years or older, whereas almost nine in 10 people aged 90 and over (88 percent) have a disability.
If you become a participant of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support before you turn 65 years old, you can continue to receive services from the Scheme, as long as it meets your needs.
If you live in an area where NDIS is available but you are over 65 years old you will not be eligible for NDIS support. In this case the supports you have been receiving previously through State and Territory funded disability support programs will continue but they will be transferred to a national program called the Commonwealth Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme.
This new program, run by the Australian Government’s Department of Health, will make sure you’ll receive ongoing support at the same level as before. Your fees won’t change and you can stay with the same services provider.
CoS provides accommodation support, community support such as counselling, therapy and behavioural support, community access such as life skills development and recreation programs and respite.
If you are not eligible for the CoS program and are over 65 years old you may be eligible to receive assistance through Government funded aged care supports. Basic assistance at home is offered through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and higher intensity support is available under the Home Care Packages program.
If you are unable to continue to live independently in your own home you may choose to move into an aged care home to make sure you receive around the clock care.
You will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) before you can move into an aged care home or receive Government funded in home supports. Contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit their website to register your details or to organise an assessment.
The AgedCareGuide.com.au website can help you find information about the different types of aged care options available, eligibility, referrals to service providers and the cost of your aged care support.
The DPS Guide to Aged Care offers detailed information about all Government and non-Government aged care options available, as well as a comprehensive list of home and aged care providers and retirement communities in Australia.
Order your State or Territory’s DPS Guide to Aged Care directory here or call 1300 186 688.