GUIDE TO HOME care PACKAGES

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Australia’s population is aging, with the number of people aged 65 and over in Australia projected to more than double, to 8.8 million, over the next 40 years.  As the aging population grows, the demand for cared accommodation will increase. Therefore, it’s important we understand the type of government support packages that are available for people if they require extra assistance. This includes a home care package, which is an initiative that allows you to live at home independently for as long as possible.

There are four levels of home care packages to help meet the different levels of care needs. These range from basic care needs to high-level care needs.  During the aged care assessment, the assessor will discuss your current care needs and determine the best level to meet them.

The total cost of a home care package is made up of:

  • what you need to pay (your contribution)

  • what the Australian Government pays (the subsidy).

The Australian Government pays a different subsidy amount for each level of home care package. This amount is paid to the home care provider you choose.

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* The maximum government contribution increases each year. The individual amount that will be paid will depend on whether you are asked to pay an income-tested care fee.

WHAT CAN HOME CARE PACKAGE FUNDS BE USED FOR?

The types of services that you can purchase under a Home Care Package include but are not limited to:

  • Personal services: assistance with personal activities such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing and undressing, mobility and communication

  • Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet: assistance with preparing meals, including special diets for health, religious, cultural or other reasons, assistance with using eating utensils and assistance with feeding

  • Continence management: assistance in using continence aids and appliances such as disposable pads and absorbent aids, commode chairs, bedpans and urinals, catheter and urinary drainage appliances, and enemas

  • Mobility and dexterity: providing crutches, quadruped walkers, walking frames, walking sticks, mechanical devices for lifting, bed rails, slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows, pressure-relieving mattresses and assistance using these aids

  • Nursing, allied health and therapy services: for example, this may include speech therapy, podiatry, occupational or physiotherapy services and other clinical services such as hearing and vision services

  • Transport and personal assistance: assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities

  • Management of skin integrity: assistance with bandages, dressings and skin emollients.

  • A Home Care Package may also support the use of:

  • Telehealth: video conferencing and digital technology (including remote monitoring) to increase access to timely and appropriate care

  • Assistive technology: such as devices that assist mobility, communication and personal safety

  • Aids and equipment: particularly those that assist a person to perform daily living tasks can be purchased using funds from your package budget. Your Home Care Agreement needs to specify whether it is leased or who owns the item and who is responsible for ongoing maintenance and repair costs.

Approved home care providers will work in partnership with you to tailor care and services to best support your needs and goals.

WHAT CAN’T HOME CARE PACKAGE FUNDS BE USED FOR?

Home Care Package funds cannot be used as a general source of income for items such as (but not limited to):

  • day-to-day bills

  • food

  • mortgage payments

  • rent.

Home Care Package funds also cannot be used to purchase:

  • other types of care funded, or jointly funded, by the Australian Government

  • travel and accommodation

  • entertainment activities, such as club memberships or tickets to sporting events.

ELIGIBILITY

You may be eligible for a home care package if you are:

  • an older person who needs coordinated services to help you to stay in your home

  • younger person with a disability, dementia or other special care needs that are not met through other specialist services.

There are no minimum age requirements or residency restrictions but home care packages are not intended for visitors to Australia or people requiring temporary or short-term care.

Check out the booklet following the button below for more information.

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