15 January, 2020
Understanding Home Care Packages
The Australian aged care sector is pretty complex and figuring out how to access home care services for you or a loved can get confusing, especially if you’re new to aged care. So, if you’re exploring home care options, here’s a quick refresher to help you on your way.
For the thousands of Aussies looking for assistance to live independently at home for as long as possible a Home Care Package can cover the costs of accessing a range of support services that keep you comfortable, healthy and happy.
What is a Home Care Package?
Simply put, a Home Care Package provides federal government funded services that help you to remain at home for as long as possible. They offer choice and flexibility in the way that the support is provided and a Home Care Package can be tailored to your individual needs.
In practice, this means that Home Care Packages can include services such as personal care, allied health, domestic assistance, transport, shopping and nursing. They can even be used, in the right circumstances, for services like art therapy or to buy equipment like mobility aids.
There are four different levels of Home Care Packages are provided at four different levels. A Level 1 package is allocated to older people who are fairly mobile and independent, while a Level 4 package is allocated to older people who need the greatest amount of support in order to live in their own home.
When it comes to delivery, with a Home Care Package you choose an approved Home Care Package provider, such as Focus Home Care, to administer your package funds and work collaboratively with you to deliver your services with a holistic approach to your wellbeing and quality of life.
Am I eligible for a Home Care Package?
To be eligible for a Home Care Package, you must, in broad terms, be an older person needing assistance to live independently at home. This may be because you’re finding it more difficult to get around, you have some health issues, or a dementia diagnosis.
As a general rule, to be eligible you must over 65 (as a guide), live in Australia, want to stay living in your home and require some support to live independently. Younger people with a disability or dementia that are not supported via other specialist services may also be eligible.
How do I access a Home Care Package?
In order to receive a Home Care Package, you will firstly need have an assessment that will determine what level of package you’re eligible for. To get the ball rolling on this, you must contact My Aged Care at www.myagedcare.gov.au or phone 1800 200 422 to schedule a free assessment, which is then carried out by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
ACAT will visit your home at the scheduled time to assess your eligibility and the level of care you require. Following this, you will be advised of whether you have been approved. From here, you are placed on a waitlist until a package is assigned to you. This waitlist is called the National Queue. It can take some time to reached the top of the waitlist and for a package to become available for you.
We can help
Many people find this process of accessing Home Care Packages to be difficult and complex. That’s why the team at Focus Care is here to help you at every step along the way. We can even arrange a referral on your behalf for an ACAT assessment if you would like. Contact us for assistance.
How to choose a provider
Once you have received a letter from My Aged Care saying that a Home Care Package has become available and has been assigned to you, the final step is to choose a home care provider. Home care providers, like Focus Care, assist with managing your package funds and arrange the services that you or your loved one wants and needs.
Focus Care is a trusted provider of home care services and has helped many older Australians maintain their independence by providing in-home care based on individual choices, needs and goals. As an approved provider of Home Care Packages, we are experts in navigating the system and helping achieve superior outcomes and happiness in later life for our clients.