Here are seven great ways to maximise the benefits of your Home Care Package funding.
More than 275,000 government funded Home Care Packages are currently available to help senior Australians live comfortably at home.
To make the most of your Home Care Package you can:
Review your care plan regularly
Regularly reviewing your care plan will ensure the services you receive are appropriate to meet your needs.
Your Home Care Package Provider should work with you to regularly evaluate, decide on, and organise the services that best help you. You can change the services you receive, as well as the timing of their delivery, as your needs change.
Consider less obvious services
Home Care Packages aren’t just for housework and personal care. Talk to your Home Care Package Provider about whether you should consider using your Home Care Package to fund some of these less obvious services:
- Allied health services such as physiotherapy or remedial massage
- Counselling and mental health support
- Help to look after your pet
- Meal delivery services
- Taxi vouchers
- Social support and companionship
- Dementia-specific therapies
Apply for a higher-level Home Care Package
A Home Care Package should deliver the care you need to keep living happily and healthily at home. If you feel you’re no longer receiving the right level of support, you can be reassessed for a higher-level package.
Home Care Packages are allocated across four levels, each with an escalating amount of funding.
Your Home Care Package Provider can work with a member of My Aged Care’s Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to have your needs re-assessed, with a view to being allocated a higher-level Home Care Package that delivers more support.
Use funds for GEAT and home modifications
Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology (GEAT) are items that can help you to cope with functional limitations and maintain your independence at home.
Your Home Care Package may cover GEAT items such as:
- shower chairs and dressing aids
- specialised eating utensils
- personal alarms
- sensor mats
- bed rails
- mechanical devices for lifting
- modified appliances
- pressure-relieving mattresses
- an electrical, adjustable, hospital-style bed
Home modifications that specifically address your ageing-related care needs may also be funded by your Home Care Package, such as:
- widening of doorways for wheelchair access
- removing shower hobs
- installing an ambulant toilet.
Speak to your Home Care Package Provider if you think these options could help you.
Apply for additional supplements
The Australian Governments funds a range of home care supplements that offer additional support for seniors with specific care needs, including:
- Dementia and cognition support
- Veteran’s supplement
- CAPS funding
- Oxygen supplement
- Enteral feeding funding
- Viability supplement for rural and remote seniors
- Financial hardship supplement
Manage your monthly budget
Your Home Care Package level determines how much you can spend each month on home care services.
Your Home Care Package Provider must ensure that you have enough funding to cover the cost of the services they organise, and they must provide you with a detailed pricing schedule, including administrative costs.
Any unspent funds are carried over from month to month and can also be transferred if you move to a different Home Care Package Provider.
You can ‘save up’ some of your allocated funds to purchase larger-ticket items such as a mobility scooter or home modifications.
Change Home Care Package Providers – at no cost
A good Home Care Package Provider delivers quality service, offers value for money and is there for you when you need them. If your current Home Care Package Provider isn’t measuring up, then switching to another provider is easy, and it costs you nothing.
Aged Care Decisions can help you find a Home Care Package Provider, with less stress, less running around and at ZERO cost to you.
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More about Home Care Packages:
What is a Home Care Package?
The Australian Government funds Home Care Packages to help older Australians pay for services and products that directly help them to keep living independently, and safely, at home.
When you are assigned with a Home Care Package, a set amount of money will be allocated to you as an annual budget. You can engage a Home Care Provider to use this money to organise and administer home care services and products such as cleaning, personal care, mobility aids, and home modifications, on your behalf.
What will a Home Care Package pay for?
Home Care Packages can fund a broad range of home care services, tailored to an individual’s specific care needs. Home care services can cover everything from the basics, such as help with household tasks, to higher level nursing and medical support, including regular home visits from a registered nurse.
How much does a Home Care Package cost?
The out-of-pocket costs you may need to contribute towards your Home Care Package are determined by your care needs, your financial situation, and the Home Care Package level you are allocated.
How to get a Home Care Package
Follow these 5 steps to be assigned with a government funded Home Care Package:
1. Check your eligibility
Seniors who are 65 years or older (or 50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people) may qualify for a Home Care Package. You can quickly check your eligibility with My Aged Care’s online eligibility checker.
2. Complete an ACAT Assessment
ACAT assessments are coordinated by Australian government organisation My Aged Care. They are used to evaluate care needs and determine who can access Home Care Packages.
You can organise an assessment online here: Apply for an aged care assessment | My Aged Care or by calling 1800 200 422.
3. Complete an income and assets assessment
To avoid paying the maximum fees applicable for your Home Care Package, complete an income and assets assessment via Services Australia/Centrelink.
4. Have a Home Care Package approved and allocated to you.
Once you have been assessed, the approval and allocation process can take 3-12 months, depending on national demand, and the level of Home Care Package you require. Home Care Packages are allocated on a priority system, which is managed by My Aged Care.
You can check the progress of your application or assessment by logging into your My Aged Care Online Account using myGov or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
5. Find a Home Care Provider
This is where Aged Care Decisions can assist.
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