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Tips and advice

What to do about aged care when on the National Waitlist?

Waiting times for Government Home Care Packages are a real problem. It’s often one of the toughest times for families as they realise the much-needed care they’re seeking is perhaps a year away.

The process to reach this moment is often lengthy as many delay the decision to seek care and, when they finally do, the process is long and complex. For those that make their way through the assessment, any good news of being approved for funding can be short-lived as the question of what to do while on the National Waitlist arises.

Official waiting times for Level 1 packages are listed as 3-6 months while Level 2-4 packages can take between 9 and 12 months to come through, according to the latest data on the government website. My Aged Care (last revised 31 October 2021).

However, the desperate calls from families waiting long beyond these times tells a different story, and the lack of practical help and advice only adds to their mounting frustration and concerns.

This experience struck at our core as a provider determined to change the aged care status quo, and so we’ve compiled our Top 7 National Waitlist Survival Tips regarding what to do during the long wait.

Keep scrolling to download and print our National Waitlist survival tips fact sheet

2 hours free care at home

This is our favourite, and it happens to be our own. At Age Up, we give anyone on the National Waitlist 2 hours per fortnight of free support at home with no obligation or cost. We complete all the necessary safety and health checks, and then provide the same close care we give all of our clients. What’s not to love about that! If you need any additonal hours of care, we offer discounted Waitlist Rates, but there is no need to take up additonal services. See our FAQS and learn more.

Commonwealth Home Support Program

This scheme is an entry-level home care program provided by the government to help fund services such as meals, respite care, cleaning and other help at home. It’s generally simpler and takes less time to gain access to funding, which can help reduce the cost of care significantly – for example, a cleaner might cost you $8 per hour out of pocket. To find out more about CHSP funding, click here.  

Support circle plan

Establishing a plan ensures you make the best use of any resources you do have, including friends, family, health providers, neighbours and any services, such as cleaners. The plan needs to set priorities and create a schedule to ensure the most important things are handled. Generally, anything affecting health and safety are going to be your top priorities. Ask someone in your support circle to help set up your plan, or you could engage a provider like Age Up to help establish this for you.

Home safety assessment

To minimise further health issues arising from home hazards and falls, an occupational therapist can complete a comprehensive safety assessment and provide you with simple, practical advice. This one-off cost (approx. $120) can save significant health issues down the line. Or, there are many free online safety checklists that can help guide you.

Regular health checks

Declining health is one of the key issues for people on the National Waitlist, which can impact independence and the ability to remain at home. Seeing your GP more regularly and discussing both your physical health and wellbeing ensures you’re getting the health referrals and care you need to avoid a health crisis later on. Book regular appointments ahead of time, so they are locked in.

Meal & grocery services

You may think about regular meal service deliveries for some or all days in the week, or perhaps have a food delivery app added to your phone for the times when help with meals isn’t available.  Grocery deliveries are another great option if getting to the shops is becoming more difficult.

Cleaning services

Keeping the home clean and well organised can help with safety, health, hygiene and staying on top of day-to-day activities. Organising a cleaner once a fortnight can make a huge difference, or perhaps things have got a little out of hand, and a once-off professional clean might help with getting back on track.

Fact sheet

What to do about aged care when on the National Waitlist for a Home Care Package?

Download & print here

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Got more questions about Home Care Packages?Here's some more helpful resources!

How to Prepare for Your Home Care Assessment


This fact sheet ensures you are prepared for your assessment, and helps ensure you get the care and support you need.

Learn more Learn more

Free Home Care Advisory service

Book a no-obligation Home Care consultation to discuss your individual situation, to get the right help and advice for you.

Book now Book now

Free Care while you wait for your package

Get a little extra help each fortnight while you wait for your Home Care Package to come through!

Learn more Learn more

About Age Up Fees & Charges

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Single fee & the same friendly face each shift*

  • No daily fees
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  • No exit costs
  • No outsider service provider fees
  • No extra care management fees

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Need support with your Home Care Package?

We’re here to help. Age Up Health provides packages that are designed to keep you happy and healthy at home, where you belong.

Our services are simple.

Expect a single fee and the same friendly face each time. And rest assured that our packages are flexible enough that you can make changes whenever you wish.

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