For many seniors, the aged care journey does not always start with – or even include – residential aged care. In fact, with over 204,000 elderly Australians who are currently assigned Home Care Packages, it seems staying at home is now the more preferable way of receiving aged care assistance for many families.
What is a Home Care Package (HCP)?
Home Care Packages (HCP) are a way for the elderly to access affordable care at home, as opposed to in an aged care facility. Home Care Package recipients can access a variety of services that help keep them safe in their home and connected to their community.
How do I get a Home Care Package?
To access a Home Care Package, you are first required to complete an Aged Care Assessment (ACAT). An ACAT is used to work out your care needs and if you are eligible to receive a Home Care Package. This assessment can be organised by your local GP, hospital or directly through My Aged Care.
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What is the difference between package levels?
There are four levels of Home Care Packages and they are based on your level of care needs.
- Level 1: Basic care needs – $10,271.10 per year
- Level 2: Low care needs – $18,063.85 per year
- Level 3: Intermediate care needs – $39,310.50 per year
- Level 4: High care needs – $59,593.55 per year
What services can I receive?
Depending on the service level, Home Care Package recipients can get assistance with a range of different services. Broadly you will be able to get assistance the following services:
- Personal care
- Nursing services
- Allied health and therapy services
- Food nutrition
- Home maintenance and modifications
- Assistive technology
- Social support services
More specifically, you may be able to get access to:
- Help with bathing, showering, toileting
- Assistance with getting in and out of bed
- Reminders to take your medication
- Wound care and management
- Meal delivery services
- Help with meal preparation
- Help with ironing and laundry
- Light gardening
- Assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities
How do the fees work?
Being approved for a Home Care Package means that the government will subsidise the cost of your care. There are three types of fees associated with Home Care Packages, that you may be asked to pay.
- Basic Daily Fee
Your provider may ask you to pay a basic daily fee. The cost of this fee is based on your home care package level and may be up to $12.14 a day.
- Income-tested care fees
Some people may also be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if their income is over the maximum income for a full pensioner. This fee may be up to $34.84 a day.
- Additional fees
You may also agree to pay additional fees for additional care and services that wouldn’t otherwise be covered by your Home Care Package (exit fees, admin fees etc.)
How long do I have to wait before I can receive help at home?
Once your Aged Care Assessment has been completed, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care advising you if you have been approved for a Home Care Package. If approved, the letter will also state which Level you have been approved for.
It is important to remember that being approved for a Home Care Package is not the point in which the subsidised funds become available to you. Once you are advised that you have been approved, you will then go on to a waiting list. You remain on the waiting list until a package at your approved level becomes available.
Expected wait times are as follows:
Level 1 – 3 – 6 Months
Level 2 – 3 – 6 Months
Level 3 – 3 – 6 Months
Level 4 – 3 – 6 Months
When a package at your approved level (or below) becomes available, My Aged Care will write to you advising that you have been assigned a Home Care Package. This letter will also state what level they have been assigned.
If you would like to accept the Home Care Package that has been assigned, you have 56 days from the letter date to appoint a Home Care Provider. The Home Care Provider will then organise the care services to be provided.
How do I choose the right Home Care Provider for me?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a Home Care Provider. Do they provide services in your area? Do they provide the services that you need? Are the staff helpful and friendly? Do you have the ability to choose your carers? All Home Care Providers are different, so it is important to ask these questions to find the one to best suit you.
Aged Care Decisions can help provide you with a shortlist of suitable Home Care Providers to narrow down your search.
To learn more about Home Care Packages or get assistance with choosing a Home Care Provider, please call us on 1300 775 870 or fill out this form and we will get in touch with you.