Home Care Package Frequently Asked Questions

An older man holding a magnifying glass up to his eye and smiling

Navigating the landscape of aged care in Australia can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding Home Care Packages. As one of the primary avenues for receiving support and assistance while remaining in the comfort of one’s own home, Home Care Packages often spark numerous questions. To demystify this topic, let’s address some of the most frequently asked questions about home care packages in Australia.

What is a Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package is a government-funded program designed to provide older Australians with a range of home support services to help them remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible. These services can include personal care, nursing, allied health, domestic assistance, and more, tailored to meet the individual’s specific needs.

How Do I Apply for a Home Care Package?

To apply for a Home Care Package, you need to register through My Aged Care and undergo an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. This assessment determines your eligibility and the level of care you require. Once approved, you will then enter the National Queue and wait for a Home Care Package to become available.

How Long Will I Have to Wait for a Home Care Package?

The waiting time for a Home Care Package can vary depending on factors such as your assessed level of need and the availability of packages in your area. Some people may receive their package quite quickly, while others may face longer wait times. In the meantime, you may be eligible for interim services, such as the Commonwealth Home Support Program, to help meet your immediate care needs.

Learn more about Home Care Package waiting times.

Can I Choose My Service Providers?

Yes, recipients of Home Care Packages have the freedom to choose their service providers. This allows you to select providers who best meet your needs and preferences, whether it’s for personal care, nursing, therapy, or other services. You can also change providers if you’re not satisfied with the service you’re receiving.

How Much Will I Have to Contribute Towards the Cost of My Home Care Package?

Your contribution towards the cost of your Home Care Package is determined based on your income and financial situation. The government subsidises the cost of care, but you may be required to pay a basic daily fee, an income-tested care fee (if applicable), and possibly fees for additional services if you choose to access them.

Can I Have Family or Friends Provide Care Through My Home Care Package?

Yes, you can nominate family members or friends to provide care and support services through your Home Care Package. However, they must meet certain requirements, such as having the necessary skills and qualifications to deliver the care needed. They may also be eligible to receive payment for their services through a formal arrangement with your chosen service provider.

What Happens If My Care Needs Change?

If your care needs change over time, you can request a reassessment by an ACAT/ACAS to determine if you require a higher level of support. Depending on the outcome of the reassessment, you may be eligible for a higher-level Home Care Package or transition to residential aged care if that becomes the most suitable option for your needs.

Can I Take My Home Care Package with Me If I Move to a Different Area?

Yes, Home Care Packages are portable, meaning you can take your package with you if you move to a different area within Australia. However, it’s essential to notify My Aged Care of your change in circumstances and update your details to ensure continuity of care in your new location.

What Support Services Are Included in a Home Care Package?

The types of aged care services included in a Home Care Package depend on your individual needs and goals as determined by your assessment. Common services may include personal care (such as bathing and dressing), meal preparation, household chores, transportation, social support, allied health services, and clinical care (such as nursing and medication management).

How Often Will I Receive Services Through My Home Care Package?

The frequency and duration of services provided through your Home Care Package will be outlined in your care plan, which is developed in consultation with you and your chosen service provider. Services may be delivered on a regular schedule (e.g., daily, weekly) or as needed, depending on your preferences and the level of support required.

Navigating the complexities of My Aged Care home care support packages in Australia can be daunting, but armed with the right information, you can make informed decisions that support your health, well-being, and independence as you age. If you have additional questions or concerns about home care packages, don’t hesitate to reach out to My Aged Care or speak with a trusted aged care professional for guidance and support.