Support at Home Program – Let’s Talk survey

COTA Australia extends a warm thank you to all who expressed a high interest in the survey and those submitted a response.  In addition to the multiple-choice options selected, rich insights were provided in the free text responses. The message was clear – there are areas you are keen to hear more about.

While 53% of respondents were largely unaware of the Federal Department of Health’s Support at Home Program Overview, 93% said they would welcome opportunities to learn more about, discuss, engage with the design and/or provide feedback.  This feedback reinforces COTA Australia’s view that, if required, older people’s preference is to receive aged care services in their own home. There is strong interest in all developments occurring within this space, therefore, comes as no surprise.

Who responded?

Respondents identified themselves as:

  • 84% as aged 65 years or older
  • 46% of whom said they do not receive aged care services
  • 22% as family members/carers
  • 7% as members of the aged care workforce

Some respondents aged 65 years or older also identified as a family member/carer.

Areas of principal concern

Respondents indicated that if they were to receive services through the new Support at Home Program, their priority concerns would be having a clear understanding of:

  • fees and charges; receiving value for money -97%
  • services being offered – 96%
  • support plans changing as needs change – 95%
  • maintaining independence – 94%
  • deciding how involved they would be the development of support plan- 92%

Several people stressed their response reflected the main challenges they experience (as a consumer or carer) with the current non-residential aged care programs. They were unanimous around the new Program, at a minimum, needing to fully address these concerns if it is to be embraced by consumers and deliver on promises the Australian Government outlined in its response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety .

Additionally, in the free text section connected to this question, people added they consider the following as critical:

  • feeling safe and carers respecting the fact they are delivering care and support in a person’s home
  • not having to pay administrative cost on days when no service is provided
  • having the flexibility to change providers without penalty
  • reduced wait times – 30 days from assessment to receipt of services should be the norm
  • transparency around fees and charges with a strong preference for government to stipulate a maximum cost for each service type
  • program language being clear – no bureaucratic or legalese speak; no ambiguous use of terms or aphorisms/cliches
  • having one’s mental health needs identified as part of the assessment process
  • written reports provided following a complaint
  • training for consumers and family/carers about the new program and the transition process
  • consistency of service delivery
  • having greater choice to access services the consumer wants, employ own staff, purchase equipment etc. directly, employ more competitively priced
  • non-aged care services

Areas of highest interest

The survey results are clear-cut in drawing attention to the areas, where people want more information and a say in influencing the design of the Support at Home Program.

  • types of services available
  • assessment process
  • funding and how it will be allocated
  • accountability for the timeliness and quality of services

In the free text part of the question, people also asked for more information about

  • Reablement – how will it benefit older people
  • Care Finders – how will assist people to navigate the new Program
  • Training – what and how will be available to people as they transition to Program
  • Clinical and non-clinical – how it will be provided to people with high complex care/support needs

COTA Australia:  next steps

In June 2022 we will be hosting several online discussions focused on talking openly about the new Support at Home Program and gathering and refining questions you want responded to by the Federal Department of Health. Each one-hour session will follow a similar format –

  • Introductions
  • A COTA Australia presentation on the Overview and developments since its public release.
  • Participants’ sharing insights and concerns about the new program
  • Participant agreement on the priority questions we want Government to answer or share information highlighting a clear way forward

Online discussion dates

Session dateSession time (AEST)
1.Mon. 27th  June4:00pm
2.Thurs. 30th June1:00pm
3.Fri.  1st July3:00pm
4.Fri. 8th July2:00pm


Want to participate?

Volunteer here:

Care at Home survey June 2022 form

Your name

Looking forward to discussing the Program with you.