COVID-19 advice for people accessing in-home aged care services

If you access the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or a Home Care Package (HCP), find information on what support is available for COVID-19, where to get urgent assistance and more.

In-home aged care during COVID-19

Aged care providers continue to deliver services for older people at home, although some services might be delivered in a different way.

Read more about home care during COVID-19.

Commonwealth Home Support Programme

The CHSP provides entry-level supports for older people who need some help to stay at home.  

If you access CHSP and have concerns about how your services are being delivered due to COVID-19, contact your CHSP provider.

Urgent assistance through CHSP

In an emergency situation, you can access entry-level services through the CHSP, such as meals and personal care, for up to 8 weeks until an assessment takes place.

These situations may include:

  • unplanned absence of a carer
  • urgent and immediate safety intervention.

If you need access to long-term or ongoing care, your CHSP provider can help to arrange an assessment through My Aged Care.

For more information, call My Aged Care.

In all other non-urgent situations, CHSP services cannot start before an aged care assessment has taken place.

Home Care Packages Program

There should be little to no disruption in your HCP services due to COVID-19.

HCP providers have a responsibility to prevent and control infection spread and to record their management actions.

Contact your HCP provider if you:

  • have concerns about exposure to COVID-19
  • are concerned about the way your services are delivered
  • would like to make changes to your services – for example, arranging for your carer to shop on your behalf.

See resources about COVID-19, including using surgical masks.

Adjusting your HCP when circumstance change

HCP providers have a responsibility to adjust care and services based on changing circumstances. This includes discussing how your HCP funds are spent during an infection or outbreak.

HCP providers can offer to:

  • review care plans
  • adjust a package of care and services.

If you have spent all package funds and have an emergency, you can access additional CHSP services on a short-term basis. These instances must be time limited, monitored and reviewed.

Speak with your HCP provider for more information.

Emergency care plans

HCP provider should have an emergency care plan for their care recipients with arrangements for different types of emergencies such as COVID-19, flood or bushfire.

Speak to your provider if you do not have an emergency care plan in place.

Exiting or cancelling HCP services

HCP providers can arrange for you to suspend, or ‘take leave’ from their package.

Let your approved provider know the date that leave starts. This does not have to be in writing.

An approved HCP provider must:

  • not deliver services, including care management and package management, during the period you have taken leave
  • start delivering services again when you return from leave
  • inform you of any changes to fees and costs charged to your HCP.

State and territory advice

For COVID-19 advice specific to your state or territory, go to:

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My Aged Care

If you need some help around the house or think it’s time to look into aged care homes, My Aged Care is here to help. Visit the My Aged Care website to find information about how to access aged care services. You can also call Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm.

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) contact

Contact OPAN if you need advocacy support for government-subsidised aged care, or you’re a service provider seeking education about aged care rights and responsibilities. Call the number below to connect to the free advocacy service in your state or territory.

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National

TIS National is an interpreting service for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.
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