Are you confused about home care packages (HCPs) and how to access one? Today, we explain the ins and outs of home care packages including how you can access one, what the different funding levels are, and how much control and choice you have over how your package is delivered.
What is a Home Care Package?
Home Care Packages support eligible individuals with services needed to keep them independent and safe at home, such as personal care, meal preparation and home maintenance, among others.
Home Care Packages are funded (either in part or in full) by the Australian Government to help you live in the comfort of your own home while receiving care. If you or your loved one needs support beyond what the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can provide, Home Care Packages may be a way for you to access affordable home care.
How much control do I have over how my home care package is delivered?
With an approved Government Funded Home Care Package provider like Prestige Inhome Care you are in the driver’s seat. You can have as much care or as little care as you want, from 1 hour right through to 24-hour care. You can let us know the qualities you are looking for in a carer and our Care Co-ordinators will match you to the right carer to suit your needs. Your care plan can be tailored to suit your lifestyle and preferences. HCPs are available Australia-wide.
How can I access a Home Care Package?
Step 1: Assessment and Eligibility
In order to access your Home Care Package (HCP), you will need to check your eligibility and undergo an Aged Care Assessment.
Are you Eligible?
You must be either:
you must be over 65 years or older
you must be 50 years or older if you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person in need of services to support you to stay at home.
What does the assessment entail?
The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT or ACAS in Victoria) are teams of medical, nursing and allied health professionals who assess the needs of frail older people to access appropriate levels of support. The ACAT/ACAS will assess your eligibility for a Home Care Package and level of assistance needed through a free home visit by a professional. There are 4 levels of HCP subsidies available.
Assessments are arranged through calling My Aged Care at 1800 200 422 or by going to www.myagedcare.gov.au/referral and following the prompts. Interpreters are available upon request.
What can my Home Care Package cover?
- Personal care
- Domestic assistance
- Companionship (in person or via virtual telehealth solutions)
- Nursing and allied health & therapy services
- Meal preparation
- Transport to/from appointments
- Home and garden maintenance
- Access to equipment and rails for your home
- Medication management
and much more that can necessitate a suitable solution. There are some exclusions but not limited to products and services, such as payments (e.g. memberships, tickets) or food items and holidays.
Before calling My Aged Care have details of a family member and doctor ready, as well as your Medicare card on hand.
Step 2: Acceptance
Upon being placed on the government managed national waitlist, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care detailing your eligibility for a Home Care Package and priority level.
Note, we, at Prestige, are a private provider in the aged care and disability sector delivering and tailoring home care for you. Whether you find out that you are not eligible to receive a HCP or need more than the level allocated, you can pay for additional home care services yourself.. Likewise, if you need care whilst waiting for funded services to become available to you, we are able to assist also at full cost of the services to you.
Further, if you disagree with the outcome of your assessment, you can talk to an advocate through the National Aged Care Advocacy on 1800 700 600 or lodge an appeal.
A second letter will be sent to indicate when your Home Care Package is 90 days away. At this point, it is preferable for the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form to be completed.
Step 3: Developing your personalised plan
Talk with a case manager at Prestige Inhome Care to develop a tailored plan to best suit your needs.
So in summary, follow these 5 simple steps to set up your home care package:
Give Prestige Inhome Care a call on 1300 10 30 10 and we’ll guide you through the process.
If you are seeking Government funded support for in-home care, you need to book an Aged Care Assessment. Go to www.myagedcare.gov.au/referral, and follow the prompts, or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
You will next receive a letter from My Aged Care which states what Home Care Package you are eligible for and your priority level. This letter confirms you are now on the government managed national waiting list.
What’s next? You will receive a second letter indicating when your Home Care Package is 90 days away. Once you receive this letter it’s best to complete the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form.
Once approved for a Government Home Care Package, talk with a Prestige Inhome Care Case Manager and let us work with you to develop a plan that best suits your needs.
What are the different Home Care Package Levels?
The four levels depend on your care needs:
Level 1: Basic Assistance – usually comprise of one or two visits a week to assist with tasks such as cleaning, meals, shopping, grooming and transport.
Level 2: Low care needs – basic assistance as in Level 1 with more frequent visits from an aged care worker.
Level 3: Intermediate care – additional support at home, most days a week (visits can be from a care worker, nurse and medical staff).
Level 4: High-level care – this can include daily visits for high level or complex care needs.
What does it cost?
You may be eligible to receive funding from the Federal Government to help pay for a HCP. If you can afford to, you will be expected to contribute to the cost of your care. There are three types of fees you might be asked to contribute:
- Daily fee (up to $10.75 as of 20 March 2020)
* Please note: Prestige does not charge any daily fees.
At Prestige Inhome we charge some of the lowest fees in the industry – NO EXIT and NO daily care fees – leaving you with more money in your budget to spend on the care you need.
- Income-tested care fee (up to $30.68 as of 20 March 2020)
Some individuals may also be required to pay an income-tested care fee. A formal income assessment from Services Australia will determine how much you need to pay. Annual and lifetime limits apply to this fee.
- Additional fees
This includes any other amount you have agreed to pay for additional care and services not otherwise covered by your HCP.
For more information regarding steps to set up your home care package, click here
Already have a Home Care Package and want to switch to Prestige?
Switching home care package providers is as easy as picking up the phone or clicking a button. Call us on 1300 10 30 10 and our friendly team can assist you with the process. Alternatively, contact us online.