You may have heard about aged care packages, and wondered what they are all about. Essentially, aged care packages are one of the ways that older Australians can get some help at home, and allow them to access affordable care services that they need.
What is an aged care package?
Aged care packages are more commonly known as home care packages, and are designed to assist those with more complex care needs who wish to remain in their own home for longer. This package of coordinated care and services allows you to manage your care and services appropriately, and choose the ones that best meet your needs and goals. Approved home care providers will work with you to tailor and supply the care and services that you need in order to be able to continue to live independently.
Who is eligible for a home care package?
You might be eligible for a home care package if you are:
- An older person who needs coordinator services to help them stay in their own home, or
- A younger person with a disability, dementia or other care needs not met through other specialist services
You will need to undergo an assessment to determine your eligibility, which will be based on your assessed care needs. If you are assessed as only needing a lower level of support (such as one or two services), you may not need a home care package, but might be able to receive more suitable support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
If you are assessed as eligible for a home care package, you may also need to undergo an income assessment to determine how much you can contribute to the cost of your package. Keep in mind though, that your financial situation will not have an effect on your eligibility to receive a package. The total amount of your home care package is made up of a Government subsidy as well as any fees you may need to pay.
What services does a home care package provide?
There are a wide range of different services available, and you can choose the services you require to make up your package. Services available include:
- Meals and food preparation
- Hygiene, grooming and bathing
- House cleaning, laundry and other household chores
- Home or garden maintenance
- Help with managing particular impairments, conditions or continence
- Therapies, such as physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or other clinical services such as vision and hearing services
- Independence aids, mobility and dexterity
- Management of skin integrity, such as assistance with bandages and dressings
- Home modifications to aid you in moving around safely and independently
- Social outings and support
- Shopping assistance
- Equipment and aids
Keep in mind that you can’t use your home care package to pay for items such as food, bills, rent or mortgage payments.
There are four levels of home care package that can help meet different care needs:
- Level 1: basic care needs
- Level 2: low-level care needs
- Level 3: intermediate care needs
- Level 4: high-level care needs
The Australian Government will subsidise a different amount for each level of package.
Who provides these packages of services?
The services administered through home care packages are provided by a variety of organisations across Australia, such as aged care facilities like Finley Regional Care (https://www.finleyregionalcare.com.au/services-at-finley-regional-care/complete-care-packages/). You will need to choose a service provider to administer your package, and the Australian Government will pay your chosen provider a subsidy for a package of care services designed to meet your specific needs. Try the Find a Provider tool to find out what home care package providers are located in your area: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/find-a-provider
How do I get assessed for a home care package?
The process of applying for an assessment is simple, although you must meet certain requirements to be eligible for an aged care assessment. Click here to go to the eligibility checker for receiving government-subsidised aged care services: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/am-i-eligible. If you are eligible, you can apply for the assessment immediately online. If your care needs indicate that you might need a home care package, you will then be referred for a face-to-face assessment.
There will be a wait time between when you are approved for a home care package and when you are assigned a home care package.