Home Care Packages
If you are looking for some extra help and think that home care services could be the best way forward for you, why not look into a Home Care Package?
Designed specifically for elderly care and open to all Australian citizens, this government subsidised scheme could make life around the house easier and help you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy.
What is a Home Care Package?
The Home Care Packages program is a Commonwealth government-subsidised program that provides long-term support for older people who want to stay living at home.
There are four different levels of home care packages. Each provides a portion of funding which can be used to buy hours of elderly home care, or other support appropriate to your needs. The four categories are:
- Level 1: For basic care needs. Provides approximately 2-3 hours of care a week.
- Level 2: For low-level care needs. Provides approximately 5-6 hours of care a week.
- Level 3: For intermediate care needs. Provides approximately 9-12 hours of care a week.
- Level 4: For high-level care needs. Provides approximately 15-20 hours of care a week.
How does it work?
Home Care Package funds aren’t paid to you directly. Instead, you choose an Approved Home Care Package provider to administer the funds on your behalf and give you ‘case management’ support and advice.
How do I access a package?
To be assigned a home care package you need to complete an Aged Care Assessment. This will assign you the level most appropriate to your needs.
Once you have a Home Care Package, you can keep it for as long as you need. If your needs increase, you may be reassessed for a higher level package.
What is My Aged Care?
My Aged Care is the government gateway for all aged care services and they should be your
first point of contact before looking into any aged care services. It’s services include:
Assessments to understand the level of care you need and which funded services you can access.
Help finding local services that fit your level of need.
You can get in contact with My Aged Care in two ways:
What is an Aged Care Assessment?
The Aged Care Assessment (ACA) evaluates people’s eligibility for Home Care Packages. It is performed by professional health and community care clinicians who visit you at home to evaluate your needs. The result of the assessment will determine which level of Home Care Package you are eligible for.
What does the assessment include?
During the assessment visit, the clinician (usually a nurse, social worker or other health care professional) will ask questions about how well you are managing in your day-to-day life. This will include specifics such as what you can still do for yourself and what you want assistance with. It can be helpful to put some thought into your answers prior to the visit to give the most accurate answers that truly reflect your situation.
How to arrange an Assessment
If you think you might benefit from some assistance, it’s a good idea to have an assessment.
The easiest way to arrange an in house evaluation is to call My Aged Care directly. Over the phone they will be able to tell you what type of assessment you need and book in a date for you.
What happens next?
After your assessment, an Aged Care Assessment Team member will make a formal decision about your care needs,
your eligibility to receive a home care package and the level of home care package that meets your requirements. You are under no obligation to accept the resulting package.
If you are found to be eligible and want to commence a care package the process will go as follows:
- Receive an approval letter from My Aged Care: This sets out the level of home care package you are approved to receive and your priority for care.
- Take a place in the national queue: Your place will be determined by your priority for care and the time you have waited for a package.
- When a home care package becomes available: You will receive a letter from My Aged Care to let you know you have been assigned a package.
- Find an Approved Care Provider to manage your home care package.
Have a Home Care Package and are looking for an Approved Provider?
If you have taken the ACA assessment and received a letter from My Aged Care assigning you a
Home Care Package – it’s time to look for an Approved Care Provider.
An approved provider has satisfied the Department of Health’s legal and social requirements to administer packages on behalf of consumers. So not only will they give you the best service, they are the only organisations able to host a Home Care Package.
You should inform your chosen approved provider of:
- What level of home care package has been assigned to you.
- A unique referral code to give to your chosen approved provider.
Have a Home Care Package but want to change provider?
As of 28 February 2017, existing Home Care Package holders are free to negotiate the services they receive with any Approved Provider. This means that if you are not happy with the current services of your approved provider, you can swap to one that better suits your needs.
How do I go about swapping providers?
The process of switching providers is managed by My Aged Care. You will have to undertake the following steps:
- When you have found a new Approved provider you will need to contact My Aged Care to re-activate your
- Once activated give the referral code to your new provider.
- When that referral code is accepted by your new provider, your current provider will be notified through My AgedCare that you are looking to change providers.
- You will also need to give official notice to your current provider and formally agree an end date,
- You then have 56 days from the agreed end date to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your new
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