Thanks to the rising costs of care homes and the many benefits that home care in Australia brings elderly people, more and more people are thinking about applying for a home care package.
A home care package is a form of financial assistance offered by the Australian government for people who want home care services. It’s a subsidy that enables people to pay for the support they need in their day to day lives, from preparing food to personal care.
What Elderly Home Care Services Are Included In A Home Care Package?
Home care packages include a range of services designed to promote independent living and help people stay in their homes. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Home care packages can contribute to the cost of personal care. Personal care involves all kinds of things, from help with bathing and dressing to mobility. Many people, for instance, struggle to get in and out of the shower or do up buttons on their clothing. A home care package can pay for a carer who will assist a person in performing these essential activities.
Likewise, a person may struggle to move from one location to another, perhaps because of illness or disability. Australian home care providers like us supply trained people who can assist with a variety of mobility issues.
Support services refer to activities that help to maintain the home in which a person lives. An aged person, for instance, might not be able to do certain household chores. Home care packages can pay for carers who can provide support services, from ironing to cooking.
The great thing about support services is that they encompass just about everything a person might associate with independent living. For instance, these services include things like helping you visit your local doctor or go to social events. Home care can provide transport to local activities as well as supporting a person look after their garden and do the laundry. It’s all included in the home care package.
Allied Health Services And Clinical Services
Many people in home care in Australia need additional medical services as part of their care plan. Home care packages can subsidise the cost of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nursing services and many other clinical practices.
If you or a person in elderly home care has particular needs, then it’s worth seeing whether a home care package can cover the cost of meeting these clinical needs. The Department of Social Services lists qualifying services on its website.
Levels Of Home Care Packages
In Australia, there are four levels of home care package for which you can apply. These home care packages vary depending on a person’s needs.
The level 1 care package is for people with basic care needs. Most people on level 1 packages are relatively independent but have injury or illness that prevents them from doing all of their regular daily activities.
The level 2 care package is for people who can manage their care but need help around the house to remain independent. They may also need assistance on longer drives.
The level 3 home care package is for people with an intermediate level of need. People who apply for this package need help to prepare meals, medical support, and personal care. They also may need additional help with gardening, and access to nursing and allied services.
Finally, the level 4 care package is for people with high care needs. On level four packages, clients get support seven days a week. Many clients can also get financial assistance with minor home modifications, such as ramps and rails.
The great thing about Australia home care is that you can tailor your elderly home care package to your needs. Your care plan can reflect your personal goals or those of a loved one who needs care.
Obtaining A Home Care Package
So how do you go about obtaining a home care package to make in-home care in Sydney cheaper? Let’s take a look at some of the steps that you need to consider if you need home care services in Sydney.
Step 1: Check That You’re Eligible
The first step is to make sure that you qualify for a home care package.
If you want to see if you qualify, the first thing to do is to get in contact with the Aged Care Assessment Team, or ACAT. The purpose of ACAT is to discover the level of need that a person has and then provide an appropriate care package.
There are two ways that you can get in touch with ACAT and arrange an assessment.
- Call on 1800 200 422
- Apply on the website at www.myagedcare.gov.au
Once you’ve got in touch with them, they will send a representative to see you for a consultation. The great thing about this service is that it’s free: you don’t have to pay a penny out of pocket. Once a person has been assessed, they’ll be told what level of care package they are entitled to.
ACAT can approve any level of service, from level 1 to level 4. It doesn’t matter whether you have used the service before: you should have an accurate assessment of your needs and the right care package given.
Step 2: Choose A Home Care Provider
A range of companies in the private and voluntary sector provide Australian home care services. Clients need a home care agency that can provide support in their local area.
Here at Homecaring, we offer in-home care support in Sydney and in many other parts of the country too. If you’re looking for a quality provider, then there’s no need to look anywhere else.
Great home care providers should offer a high level of bespoke service to meet individual needs. For instance, a quality provider should be able to meet all of the personal support needs of an individual, and help them connect with suitable medical practitioners, as and when required. In-home care providers should also offer a comprehensive homecare plan. This sets out the individual’s needs and what needs to be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Providers should take the time to discuss the homecare plan in depth, allowing clients to consider all of their needs and whether the agency can meet them.
The initial consultation is an opportunity for clients to discuss the activities covered by the home care package and any additional fees and expenses.
Step 3: Calculate The Cost
The Australian government subsidises the cost of in-home care which is great news for people who want to start using home care services.
As a service provider, we can provide information about fees and subsidies for relevant services before starting any home care plan.
When it comes to home care, there are two types of fees that apply. One of the fees applies to everyone receiving the basic age pension, and the other depends on a person’s income.
Home care packages involve what’s called “the basic daily fee.” The basic fee is capped at 17.5 per cent of the single person rate of the basic Age Pension. Hence, if you receive the Age Pension, then your basic costs will consume up to 17.5 per cent of that, depending on your circumstances.
Some people have more money than others. The Australian government, therefore, asks people who have more money to contribute more to the cost of their care. The additional cost is what’s known as an “income-tested care fee” and is added on top of the basic daily fee.
At Home Caring, we can provide you with an estimate of your basic daily fee and your income-tested fee, depending on your income or personal financial position. You can also use many of the publicly accessible fee estimators to get a rough idea of what you can expect to pay for in-home care services in Sydney.
Step 4: Accept A Home Care Package
The final stage of applying for a home care package is to accept it.
If you choose us as your home care provider, we will offer you a home care package based on ACAT’s assessment and then draft a home care agreement.
The purpose of the home care agreement is to set out the relationship between the client and the home care provider. It should record what services will be offered to the client, and the level of support that they can expect. It should also set out fees and be based on the goals and preferences of the person receiving care.
Take a look at some of the things that a home care agreement should include:
- Pricing. All home care agreements should set out how much you will pay for the services.
- Delivery of services. A home care agreement should tell a client where and when services will be delivered — for instance, Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at 13:00 hours.
- Description of services rendered. The description should detail the services that a person will receive.
- The provider of services. The home care agreement should state who will provide the services, and may include the names of specific carers.
- The level of client involvement. Many clients are in a position to coordinate their care needs. A home care agreement should give details about the level of client control over their care situation.
Clients shouldn’t accept any home care agreement without ensuring that it corresponds with their needs and requirements.
Step 5: Start Receiving Services
Once the home care agreement is finalised, clients are ready to begin receiving services.
The great thing about home care is that it can be changed quickly to meet additional needs. For instance, if the person receiving the care has a deteriorating condition, then changes can be made to their level of personal care or support.
On a technical note, it’s worth pointing out that the home care package applies from the moment that you sign the agreement with the home care provider, not when you start receiving services. The current system allows you to use different service providers if you so require, which means that if you’re not happy with your current service, you can switch to us today.
Why Home Caring?
If you’re looking for a quality home care provider for your home care package, then you’ve come to the right place. Here at Home Caring, we offer a range of benefits that you’ll struggle to find with other home care providers in Sydney.
Home Caring allows a person to stay in their home for longer. We organise bespoke, personalised care plans around a person’s individual needs, ensuring that they can continue to live their lives in the best way possible and a manner of their choosing.
Home Caring believes that home care should be about giving people options. Rather than restricting people in a care home setting, home care provides the freedom for clients to choose only the services that they need and want. Some clients on lower level packages, for instance, don’t need any help with personal care at all but do want assistance with mobility so that they can attend social gatherings. Other clients want more help around the house so that they can concentrate on their hobbies without having to worry about doing the washing up.
Residential care provides the flexibility that people crave, and thanks to subsidies, it’s highly affordable, even to people only on a basic pension. Everybody has different interests and needs, and now they can be met, without having to pay unrealistic expenses.
Once a person has been assessed and has applied for a home care package, they’re well on their way to getting the support that they need. Remember, being assessed is free, and once you’ve got a home care package, you can potentially save a lot of money off the full price.
If you’re confused or worried about any of this, then get in touch with us today, and we can explain it. We’d love to hear from you.