There’s no escaping the fact that our lives change as we grow older. And with life expectancy growing, the likelihood of needing a little extra support in later life has significantly increased over the past 50 years. Home care packages are the best solution for thousands of Australians.
Home care packages can be the key to retaining a sense of independence and enjoying a better quality of life for years to come. The first step to getting the home care that you or a loved one deserves, you must first gain a deeper understanding of them. This guide will cover a range of key topics, such as;
- What home care packages are designed to do,
- Who is eligible for home care packages,
- The four levels of home care packages in Australia,
- What can be included in a home care package,
- The home care package application process.
Here at Home Caring, we support thousands of Australians like you. Take the first steps to gain the support you deserve by calling 1300 875 377 today!
What are home care packages?
The term home care package relates to a pool of funding that is made available by the Australian Government to assist individuals with their daily lives and ongoing care needs. It is administered by the Home Care Package Program and is designed to help applicants retain independence by living at home rather than needing a residential care home.
Choosing home care packages over alternative forms of support can deliver a wide range of benefits, including but not limited to;
- Stay in familiar surroundings with your spouse, family, or pets.
- Avoid the need to lose your biggest financial asset (the property),
- Save money compared to residential care, especially with the government support,
- Strike the right balance between independence and avoiding potential risks,
- Know that all home features and schedules can be built specifically around you.
The government funding scheme does have limited places per year. Meanwhile, it does not arrange your support, it simply provides the funding. Teams like Home Caring will provide the assistance you need.
The four levels of home care packages
When you need a helping hand in daily life courtesy of a home care package, it’s important to ensure that the support is aligned to your personal needs. The government uses four categories to determine how much assistance is required, with level 1 home care packages being the lowest and level 4 home care packages being reserved for individuals with the greatest needs. Their details are as follows:
- Home care package level 1 – Equivalent to around 3 hours of support each week, the entry-level home care package aims to support individuals with basic needs. Applicants can receive up to $8,927.90 per year on this level.
- Home care package level 2 – The low care support band (previously Community Aged Care Packages) allows applicants to receive up to $15,705.95 per year, equivalent to 5-6 hours per week.
- Home care package level 3 – The level 3 band is designed to support applicants with intermediate home care needs. It provides an average of 10 hours per week, which is equivalent to a $34,174.96 limit.
- Home care package level 4 – At up to $51,808.10 per year, this is the largest level of support that extends to Parkinson’s and related progressive conditions. It was previously known as Extended Aged Care at Home.
Eligible applicants can also apply for the Dementia Supplement or the Veterans’ Supplement. The level of home care package offered will be determined by ACAT testing. This is where a professional will assess your situation at an appointment.
What can home care package funding be used for?
Once your level 4 home care package funding (or level 1-3 funding) has been approved, you will need to consider how it should be used. This can be achieved via a home care package plan that will set out the details of how your funds will be distributed. This schedule of home care should be tailored to reflect your needs and ensure that you receive the best possible quality of care.
There is a long list of services that can be included, whether you’re on a level 3 home care package or any of the alternative solutions. Some examples include;
- Personal care – This could include support with cleaning, grooming, meal preparation, medications, physiotherapy, and related care.
- Home support – This can cover simple tasks like gardening, cleaning and organisation or more advanced issues like home modifications for extra accessibility.
- Daily chores – Completing tasks like grocery shopping, transportation to appointments, or social activities can all be included in this section.
- Social care – This covers all aspects of social care as well as respite care for primary caregivers who may need a break from time to time.
The monies allocated to form your home care package can be distributed evenly or weighted in any way that you see fit. Working with an expert to decide the best use of funds for your situation will ensure you gain the best help along with the peace of mind you deserve.
The home care package process
Generally speaking, the process of seeking home care packages remains consistent whether you need home care in New South Wales, Queensland, or any of Australia’s other territories. Likewise, it won’t matter if you’re seeking level 2 home care packages or level 4 home care packages because you will see an ACAT assessor either way.
The fundamental process is as easy as 1-2-3. To gain your home care package funding, you will;
- Make your application and wait for your assessment.
- If your application is accepted, you’ll work with a home care service (like us) to put your home care package plan in place.
- Your home care will commence and then be updated if your situation ever changes.
You should know that the waiting times are long, which is why you must make the application ASAP. The funding you receive may not cover the full costs of your care. You can prepare for this by using a calculator to estimate the fees. It should be noted, though, that you only have 56 days to arrange your care plan from the date of receiving your letter.
Whatever stage of the journey you’re currently at, a home care package could be the ticket to a better quality of life. To find out more, get in touch with your local Home Caring advisor today!