If you or a loved one is looking for help and support at home, a Home Care Package is a great option. These government-funded Home Care packages are suitable for older Australians who can live at home but require some form of assistance.

The great part of these Home Care Packages is that you can tailor your help to your needs, from complex care to simple daily assistance. Whether you’re looking for a clinical nurse or just someone to socialise with, your Home Care Package can be used in many ways. 

In this article, we’ll look at Home Care Package funds and answer common questions such as, ‘What can I buy with my Home Care Package?’ and ‘What’s excluded from my Home Care Package?’ 

What is a Home Care Package? 

Home Care Packages are a form of Aged Care package from the government that subsidises your care received at home. The package is divided into four levels based on the complexity of care, and the funding you’ll receive for your package depends on your Home Care package level. 

Package LevelLevel of care needs
Level 1Basic care needs – $10,271
Level 2Low care needs – $18,064
Level 3Intermediate care needs – $39,311
Level 4High care needs – $59,594

Under a Home Care Package, you can control and manage how your funds are spent. This is described as Consumer Directed Care, which means you get to choose the type of services you want and how you want them. Hence, it’s important to find a Home Care provider that’s communicative and transparent on their services, fees, and how they are managed. Let’s understand more about the Home Care package inclusions and exclusions.

What can I buy with my Home Care Package?

Generally, your Home Care Package funds can be used for these three main categories. 

  • Care services
  • Support services and
  • Clinical services.

The table below shows a breakdown of each service and an example of the services that are eligible for subsidy. 

Care services  • Personal assistance in bathing, toileting
• Personal care and grooming (i.e. brushing hair, shaving, nail-clipping) 
• Meal preparation, home-delivered meals, and nutrition assistance
• Provision and use assistance of mobility aids (i.e. crutches, walkers, wheelchairs)
• Assistance with providing bandages and dressings  
Cleaning, home, and light garden maintenance 
• Transport to healthcare providers and social activities
• Laundry
• Household cleaning and general tidying
• Personal assistance with day-to-day activities (i.e. using the telephone, paying bills) 
Home modifications that are in line with your care plan (i.e. shower rails, safety ramps, and pressure-relieving mattresses) 
• Arranging social activities that are suited to your lifestyle and well-being 
• Emotional support services
• Medication management 
• Assessment and management of your care plan
• Nursing services
• Allied health and therapy services (i.e. dietician, physiotherapist, speech and language • therapist, podiatrist)
• Other health practitioners and health-related services

What other services are included in my Home Care Package?

Different individuals have different needs, and your Home Care Package is flexible in accommodating your specific care. However, your package subsidy can not be used for services you’re currently accessing through other health programs and rebates. 

To understand if a service is eligible for subsidy, it’s best to discuss the following questions with your Home Care provider:

  • Is the service directly linked to my care needs and goals?
  • Can this service be delivered within my Home Care Package budget?
  • Do I need this service to stay safe and independent in my home? 
  • Will it improve my health and well-being?
  • Is it considered an acceptable use of government funds?  

Your provider should be able to answer these questions clearly, provide necessary alternatives, and tailor your care to your needs.  

What services are not included in my Home Care Package? 

Your Home Care Package cannot subsidise some services. Here are some items considered as Home Care Package exclusions:

Household billsDay-to-day expenses such as electricity bills, water bills, petrol and rent 
Fees and charges covered by other government-funded careAny home care or healthcare fees covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, or any other government schemes and subsidies. 
Groceries Daily groceries are not covered by Home Care Packages
Medication Medications are covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and cannot be covered under a Home Care Package.
Non-care-related home modifications of capital items Subsidised Home modifications should be related specifically to your care, and modifications for aesthetic reasons are not covered. 
Household appliances and electronicsMost white goods and household appliances are not covered, except for goods specific to frailty such as a tipping kettle. 

Your Home Care provider should be able to explain what services are subsidised by your Home Care Package. So it’s crucial to choose a provider that’s clear on how they can support you. 

How do I find the right provider for my Home Care Package? 

Finding the right provider to help you efficiently use your Home Care Package will help you get the best level of care. If you’re currently looking for a Home Care provider or perhaps considering other available providers in your area. CareAbout is here to help. 

CareAbout’s Care Advisers are experts at finding the right Home Care for your individual needs, and can guide you through the whole process, at no cost to you. For a discussion about your Home Care Package and needs, speak to CareAbout experts.