Home Care Packages

Coordinated home care subsidised by the Australian Government

The Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care services in Australia through a variety of different programs. If you have more complex needs, you may be able to access a Home Care Package to help you stay at home for longer with coordinated support from home care providers.

Eligibility

Home Care Packages are open to seniors over 65 years of age, or over 50 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, who need:

  • Ongoing services
  • Multiple services, or one service at a high frequency
  • High level support, such as complex nursing care

If your needs are basic, such as requiring showering a few days a week or fortnightly cleaning, you might be eligible for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Packages

Depending on your needs, you will be approved for one of four home care package levels. If you are unable to find an available package at the right level, it’s possible to take a lower level package and upgrade to the higher level package when one becomes available.

The package levels are:

  • Home Care Level 1
    Supports people with basic care needs
  • Home Care Level 2
    Support people with low level care needs
  • Home Care Level 3
    Supports people with intermediate care needs
  • Home Care Level 4
    Supports people with high care needs

Services

Home Care Packages include a wide range of services to help you stay living in your own home, including:

Consumer Directed Care (CDC)

All home care packages are delivered under a consumer directed care approach, where you decide the level of involvement you want to have in managing your package. This could range from involvement in all aspects of the package, including co-ordination of care and services, to a less active role in decision-making and management of the package.

You will also be encouraged to identify goals, which could include gaining more independence or health goals. These will form the basis of your individual home care agreement and care plan.

CDC also provides you with an individualised budget, which means you can see exactly what funding is available under the package and how those funds are being spent.

With CDC, the focus is on helping you to become more independent with the aim of reducing the need for ongoing services, or the need to access higher care services.

Application process

To start receiving home care services, through a Home Care Package or Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), you will need to register with My Aged Care and go through an application process, where you will be assessed by the government to determine your eligibility for services.

Read more about the application process.

Costs

The Australian Government subsidies Home Care Package services, however you may be asked to contribute to the cost of your care.

Basic daily fee

Clients on a home care package pay a basic daily fee of up to 17.5% of the single basic Age Pension, which is adjusted in March and September each year. Ozcare does not charge the daily care fee for new clients after 27 February 2017.

Income-tested care fee

Depending on your income, you may also be asked to pay an income-tested care fee. To determine whether you are required to pay this additional fee, you will be asked to do the following:

  • If you are on an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Allowance, or Mobility Allowance, call the Department of Human Services on 1800 227 475 to confirm whether you are exempt from the income-tested care fee or your fees can be determined without submitting a form
  • If you are a veteran or widow/er, call the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1800 555 254 to confirm whether you are exempt from the income-tested care fee or your fees can be determined without submitting a form
  • For all others, submit an Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form (SA 456) to the Department of Human Services

You can choose not to confirm your eligibility or submit a form, however you may be asked to contribute the maximum amount if you don’t.

The Department of Human Services or Department of Veterans’ Affairs will review your form and send you a letter to advise you of the maximum amount that your service provider can ask you to pay. If you do not agree with the decision, you can ask the department to review it. The letter is valid for 120 days (4 months).

You can estimate your fees using the home care fee estimator on the My Aged Care website.

Reviews

Your service provider should complete regular reviews, at least annually, to ensure that you are receiving the right amount of services for your needs. All home care services are delivered with a focus on re-ablement, helping you to redevelop the skills needed to stay independent and prevent you requiring higher care services in the future.

If you need additional care, your service provider is able to increase your home care package without the need for reassessment by My Aged Care.

Changing providers

From 27 February 2017, home care package holders are able to change their provider if they are unhappy with their services or move. In most cases, your current provider will charge you an exit fee which will be taken from the funds available in your package. Talk with your provider for the cost that applies to you as these are different for each provider.

If you are looking to change your provider to Ozcare, you can use our prepared letter to your current home care provider.

Other care options

If you are finding it too difficult to manage at home, you can also consider residential aged care in an aged care facility.

Aged care facilities are open to seniors over 65 years (or over 50 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) who need 24-hour assistance from nurses and carers. The facilities also have secure dementia wings for people living with dementia.

Staff are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you with anything you need, from showering and moving around to eating and participating in activities. Registered nurses take care of any wounds, stomas, medication management, chronic illness, and continence.

You can also try out living in a facility using residential respite services, where you move temporarily into an aged care facility for a few days or weeks. You will live with permanent residents and see for yourself whether you like the culture and activities on offer.



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