There was a lot of talk in the 2018 budget around home care packages. Specifically that 14,000 new home care packages will be made available over the next four years.
While the aged care industry has welcomed this announcement, with a home care package waiting list currently 105,000 long, most have also said ‘it’s not enough’.
So what are home care packages and how does someone access one?
Home care packages
A Home Care Package is a government- subsidised package of services and care delivered to an individual to help them live at home as they age.
The types of services that can be accessed using a home care package include but are not limited to, personal care, domestic duties, transport, wound care, meal preparation, mobility, allied health services.
Home care packages are delivered on a consumer directed care basis. This means the provider meets with the person needing the package and works out what care and services they will need to live at home as they age.
There are four levels of home care packages available. Each level provides a different amount of funding. Level one provides the least amount of funding and level four provides the greatest amount.
Accessing a home care package
You will need to be eligible for a home care package. Eligibility is determined by a government-approved Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
An assessment can be arranged by contacting the myagedcare contact centre directly. Alternatively, a health care professional can make the assessment request to myagedcare on your behalf.
How long you will have to wait for your ACAT assessment will depend on the urgency of the individual situation. This will be determined through the screening process conducted by the myagedcare contact centre staff.
An ACAT assessor will come and visit the person requiring the package to assess eligibility.
If assessed as eligible, you will be placed in a national queue until your funding is allocated. Waiting times vary, however the waiting times for higher level packages (3 and 4) are significantly longer than lower level packages (1 and 2).
Once your funding is allocated, you have 28 days to select a home care provider. The provider will charge a fee for managing your package and work with you to determine what services you want. They will be responsible for preparing your monthly budget, which will set out how much funding is available each month and how it is being spent.
When choosing a provider, always find out their management fees, including any fees you may be charged should you wish to move providers.
You may also want to consider self-managing your package. For more information on this, get in contact with us at Careseekers.
Will I have to pay out of pocket?
Yes, you will have to make a mandatory contribution. This may take the form of a basic daily fee and/or an income tested fee.
How many hours of care can I expect to get with my package?
Once case management fees are deducted, you can expect to receive the following hours of care, based on your package:
Level 1: 1-2 hour a week
Level 2: 3-4 hours a week
Level 3: 5-9 hours a week
Level 4: 10-13 hours a week
Individuals and families needing more hours of care than this per week often pay privately for additional hours.
You can use your home care package to connect with workers on the Careseekers platform. These same workers can provide any additional hours of care paid for privately.
Get in contact with Careseekers today to learn more.