If you are considering applying for a Home Care Package through My Aged Care, it’s important to think about the type of services you need today, as well as the additional support you may require in the future to enable you to live safely and comfortably in your home for as long as possible.
Setting up your Home Care Package
Once you have registered with My Aged Care and applied for a Home Care Package, depending on the information you provide, you may be required to go through an assessment process. Depending on the information you provided to My Aged Care during your initial contact there are two types of assessment which are designed to work out your care needs and what types of services you may be eligible for.
CHSP Assessment and Services
If the My Aged Care officer you spoke to believes you’re eligible for low-level support, they may recommend a home support assessment with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS). This type of support is provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). The types of services available through a CHSP include help around the house, planned respite, transport, just to name a few.
Home Care Package Assessment
If your needs are considered more complex, you may be required to undergo a comprehensive assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). These are teams of medical, nursing and allied health professionals who will assess your physical, psychological, medical and other needs and help you access support depending on your individual circumstances. These assessments are done in person, in your own home and an assessor from your local ACAT will call you to arrange a time to visit. The types of care an ACAT can assess you for include Home Care Packages, respite services and Aged Care Homes.
What to expect during the assessment
Your assessor will ask you a series of detailed questions about the type of support you already have at home, your lifestyle and any health concerns you may have. They will also want to know how you’re coping with daily tasks and activities around the home if you are having any problems with your memory and details about your family and community activities. Depending on the information you provide, your assessor will be able to understand your needs and what level of care is appropriate in your circumstances. They may also suggest different types of services you can access locally through your Home Care Package.
Home Care Package services
If you love your garden but are finding it difficult to maintain, having a regular gardening and lawn mowing service may be an option. To maintain your home and keep it clean and safe, you may be able to get help by accessing cleaning and home maintenance services. If meal preparation and driving are becoming more difficult for you as you get older, you can have meals provided through services such as meals on wheels and access community transport and other social support for shopping and social activities.
If you or your GP feels you’d benefit from allied health services, such as podiatry, occupational therapy, physiotherapy or exercise physiology, you may be able to access this through your Home Care Package.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health so if you feel you would benefit from talking to a professional such as psychologist or counsellor, you may be able to access these services through your Home Care Package.
Supplements for Home Care Packages
Sometimes a Home Care Package on its own may not offer enough support for your health needs or your circumstances change over time and you need more specialised care and services. In these situations, there are additional sources of government funding available for certain more serious and complex conditions.
For example, if you or someone you care for is suffering from moderate or severe cognitive decline as a result of dementia and need additional support, a supplement of an additional 11.5 per cent of current home care funds.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)
Similarly, the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) is a yearly payment to help you cover the cost of products that help you manage issues around incontinence.
Enteral Feeding Supplement
If you have a medical need for enteral feeding (where you get nutrients through a tube in your nose, stomach or small intestine), there is additional funding you can access to cover the costs.
If your care needs change over the course of your Home Care Package and you need to access this additional funding, you may need to be reassessed by ACAT. Your GP can also provide advice and appropriate referrals if you need approval for additional funding.