Don’t let the illness overwhelm you and your family. Australia government subsidies for Chinese elders.

Uncle Zhang, who lives in Melbourne, has always been in good health. However, he found that the colour of his urine was strange, so decided to go to the GP for a urine test.

Uncle Zhang was later diagnosed with early onset of bladder cancer. Due to early detection and early treatment, Uncle Zhang’s condition was well controlled after the operation. And during the process of hospitalisation, recovery, and returning home, Zhang said that he felt he received meticulous care from the Australian government. Various benefits and subsidies were offered, so that he and his family were not overwhelmed by the illness. Uncle Zhang said that he received the following three subsidies from the government:

  • Flexible Care Services
  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
  • Home Care Packages (HCP)


What are Flexible Care Services?

When the elderly unfortunately suffers from acute illness, surgery or short-term care services at home or in a nursing home environment (including restorative care (restoring independence), transition from hospital discharge or recovery from accidents or illness), the elderly can receive a flexible care plan.

According to the different needs of elders, flexible care services consist of 6 components. Today we focus on 2 items commonly used by Chinese elders: Transition Care and Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC).


Transition care:

For those who are going to be discharged from the hospital, it takes a period of time to recover and need additional support and care. Sometimes the hospital will provide transition care, but in most cases, patients will be referred to a recovery centre or nursing home. The patient might also go home directly to receive care depending on their condition.

After receiving the referral, the My Aged Care assessment team will make an appointment for assessment. If you are qualified, you can get transitional care for at least 4 weeks (28 days) or 8 weeks (56 days) or up to 12 weeks (84 days) of Transition care.

The transition care plan can offer:

joint medical services such as physical therapy, foot therapy, nurse services, etc., of course, there are also: nursing support, personal care, personal assistance such as transportation, etc.


Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) is mainly concerned with the sudden changes in an individual’s health. Therefore, this service generally assists the elderly who have suddenly declined in their health. STRC provides the elderly with flexible and in-depth care and assistance in the short term (up to 8 weeks), so that they can recover as soon as possible, and reduce their need for long-term care services.

STRC can offer:

clinical services, personal care, exercise courses, psychological counselling and counselling, assistive equipment (including mobility aids), social work, treatment services and support services, drug management, etc.


How can I apply for a flexible care plan:

  • Hospital referral – your hospital will assist you in applying.
  • You can also directly apply for it by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Regarding the cost, it is the government and the elderly who pay the cost together. Generally speaking, if you choose to receive services at home, the elders pay up to $10.75/day, and if you choose to receive services in residential care, the elders pay up to $52.35/day.


In addition to this short-term rehabilitation plan, the government will also provide long-term support plans for home care. If elderly people over 65 need long-term care, they can apply to recieve:

  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
  • Home Care Packages (HCP)

So how do we distinguish between the federal government’s family support program (referred to as family support) and home care allowance (referred to as allowance)?

CHSP is suitable for seniors with primary care needs and low levels of care. It is generally known as single service or community service. The elderly need to pay a fee which ranges between $9 – $15 each time

HCP is suitable for the elderly with complex care needs. It allows the elders to stay at home and live safely and independently. Generally, the elderly need to call My Aged Care, and the elderly need to pass the income test. Of course, if it is an elderly who is receiving a full pension, no fees are required.


Can I access these three subsidies at same time ?

The three benefits are not used at the same time.

  1. When leaving the hospital. The flexible care plan can begin.
  2. After 4 to 8 weeks, use the CHSP.
  3. For a long-term care, use HCP


However, only in some special circumstances, CHSP and HCP can be used at the same time:

Special circumstances 1. Elders who have been approved for lower-level HCP, such as basic care are under level 1 or level 2. If they are in a health recovery period (such as postoperative recovery), they may continue to use or add short-term Allied Health and Therapy or Nursing services in the CHSP.

Special circumstances 2. When a subsidy is not in place and at a carers request, respite care from CHSP might be used.

Note: The flexible service plan cannot be used at the same time as a Home Care Package.