If you or your elderly relative requires care to maintain a high quality of life there are numerous options available. One of the most popular choices today is to gain support from a carer while continuing to live in the comfort of your own home. There are numerous benefits of this type of set up. Indeed, many people maintain that home care does provide a higher standard of living, with improvements to both mental and physical health for clients.
In Australia, the government provides home care packages for those who are interested in living at home. While subsidised, you will need to make sure that you pay something towards the cost of the service. The cost for you will depend on a variety of factors including your income, individual circumstances, and assets.
It’s important that you understand the different aspects of your home care package to guarantee that you do see the greatest benefits and access the quality of life that you deserve.
Home Care Explained
There are four different levels of home care packages. These levels are designed to suit various support and care needs. Each level does receive a particular amount of funding. The money can be sent to the provider that you choose. As such, you will have the freedom to choose the care service that suits your needs best.
Home care packages are designed to provide long-term support. As such, you can continue to access the package as long as you need it and this will be based on your individual situation. If your situation improves, you might not need the same level of care. You could drop to a lower level or you might increase it if your situation requires additional support.
There is no age limit on home care although it is typically designed for individuals who are over the age of 65.
The first step to getting home care is to take an assessment. This will determine what your needs are and evaluate what level of home care will be right for you. It is important to arrange an assessment as soon as you recognize that you need extra support to continue to live at home.
An assessment can be arranged by contacting My Aged Care directly. They will start the process for you. Do be aware that completing the assessment does not mean you need to go through with the recommended plan. It is entirely your choice what action you take based on the results of the assessment.
Breaking Down A Home Care Package
If an assessment reveals that you are eligible for home care, the 4 different levels are:
- Basic Care Needs
- Low-Level Care Needs
- Intermediate Care Needs
- High-Level Care Needs
The cost ranges from $8,250 annually to $50,250. Or, $308.56 to $1,875 every fortnight.
The majority of people provided with a home care package online require basic care needs. A select few have severe issues and as such will require intermediate or a high level of care to ensure that their quality of life can be maintained.
You may have concerns about the home care package level that has been designated for you. If that’s the case, then you can raise your concerns with My Aged Care. You can also appeal the decision that has been made if you feel that it does not fit with your requirements.
How Can You Use Your Home Care Package?
There is a wide range of ways that you can use the funds from the home care package provided. For instance, you might want to use it for personal services such as showering, bathing, or dressing. Meal preparation and any form of nutrition can also be covered through your care package.
If you have issues with mobility, you can use it to access the equipment that you need or arrange for personal forms of transportation. You can also manage various aspects of your physical health such as the integrity of your skin.
Alternatively, you might want to think about using your home care package to pay for assistive technology such as devices that help with communication or even telehealth including therapy.
The needs and requirements as well as how you should be using the funds provided will be laid out through your assessment. You will also be able to develop your care plan with the provider that you choose.
As well as understanding what your home care package funds can be used for, it’s worth noting the exceptions. For instance, the funds can not be used to pay for travel and accommodation. This means that you can not use a package like this to pay for a vacation around the world. Entertainment activities like sports activities and club memberships are also ruled out. Other forms of care that are funded or jointly funded by the Australian government can not be used through your care package.
It should also not be used to cover everything from food to day-to-day bills or the cost of your rent.
Getting The Most Benefits From Your Home Care Package
Part of getting the most out of your home care package and using it for its intended purpose will always involve choosing the right care provider. Different care providers do offer their services at various rates. However, it’s important that cost doesn’t become the deciding factor here. You need to make sure that you are finding a care provider that suits your needs and your individual goals.
You should also make sure that the care solution you choose is providing the right value for money. Look at their workforce and make sure that they do have the right skills and qualifications to offer you the best level of care. If you are suffering from a specific disease or condition like dementia, it’s important to ensure that they do have experience working with people in your condition.
Make sure that you think about the facilities and the specialists that are available through a care company. It’s important that they can provide you more than just basic levels of care support. As an example, certain care providers will be able to provide access to the latest technology to help you gain independence.
You may also want to consider the goals and philosophy of a care company. What are their primary objectives when delivering care to their clients? This is going to help you determine whether they could be the right fit.
To use your home care package for the intended purpose, you need to think about your individual goals. The main benefit of home care is that it can be entirely based on your needs. There are various types of goals that you might have in mind. You might want to improve your levels of independence or boost your health. The right carer will ensure that you have the structure in place to achieve these goals in a good amount of time.
You might also want to consider the activities that you would like to be part of your day-to-day life and what type of support you will need for these activities to be accessible. Think about the things you enjoy and how your carer will fit into these activities on your terms.
Your provider should help you formulate a full care plan. This will include where your funding will be used and how it will be used to ensure that you can meet your goals. A care plan can be reviewed every 12 months to ensure that it does still meet your needs. You can make changes including how your budget (the government subsidy and your fees) is being used to give you the greatest benefits.
Do You Need Home Care?
People often avoid using a home care package or completing an assessment because they don’t want to lose their independence. However, the whole point of these plans is to ensure that you can live independently in the comfort of your own home for far longer. Indeed, research suggests that every hour that you spend using home care results in a 6% lower risk of you ending up in a residential care facility. If you want to continue to live in the comfort of your home, home care is certainly your best option.
You also need to maximize the potential that your home care package provides once you are approved. It is recommended that you use at least 70% of your total budget to get the greatest benefits from your plan.
We hope this helps you understand how to use your home care package for the intended purpose. At Home Caring, we’re delighted to be able to offer home care support to our clients through home care packages and ensure that your individual goals are catered to, putting the power of choice back in your hands.