With Australians living longer, healthier lives over the past decade or so, there has been a growing interest in alternatives to traditional Aged Care options, such as nursing homes.
The Home Care Package Program
The government’s Home Care Package Program is designed to offer flexibility and choice so older Australians have some control over their lives and are supported to live independently and safely in their own homes for as long as possible.
This relatively new program, which was introduced in 2013, is unique because it takes a consumer-directed care approach to aged care and allocates the package to the person, rather than to an aged care provider.
In the past aged care services were bulk-funded and aged care providers decided how funds would be allocated, with people having very little control.
You’re in control!
Under the Home Care Package Program, the funds are allocated to participants who are considered as clients, with significantly more control over what services they choose and how those services are delivered. Participants also have the flexibility to transfer their package to another provider if they choose to do so.
Approved providers work with care recipients to plan, organise and deliver Home Care Packages. This allows people to choose a mix of services that best meet their individual needs and goals. These services may include help with domestic chores, minor home modifications, gardening, personal and nursing care, mobility aids, as well as transport assistance if required.
My Aged Care Home Care Packages come in different levels
There are four levels of Home Care Packages available, depending on your circumstances and care requirements: from Level 1 if you have relatively simple care needs, to Level 4 if you have needs that have been assessed as requiring high care and having more complex needs.
Under each level, the government allocates a certain amount of funding to you each year which your provider manages on your behalf.
Under a Level 1 Home Care Package you are entitled to approximately $9000 of funding per year to cover basic care needs.
Under a Level 2 Home Care Package you are entitled approximately $15,750 of funding per year to cover low care needs.
Under a Level 3 Home Care Package you are entitled to approximately $34,250 of funding per year to cover intermediate care needs.
Under a Level 4 Home Care Package you are entitled to approximately $52000 per year to cover high care needs.
What happens once you have your Package?
Once you have been assigned a Home Care Package, you work with your chosen provider to work out your care needs and to decide how best to spend your package funding. It’s your provider’s job to manage your package and coordinate these services on your behalf.
As your needs change you can always request additional services or arrange for another assessment with your local Aged Care Assessment Team, who may recommend a higher level Home Care Package be assigned to you.
For expert advice on the government’s Home Care Package Program and to find approved providers in your area, contact CareAbout on 1300 721 855.