Living in their own home for as long as possible is a personal goal of many seniors, but sometimes this can become a financial and emotional strain on them and their family members when the time arrives for organising additional care needs and expenses.
A Home Care Package (HCP) provided by the Australian government relieves the stress of affording professional care and support, enabling independent senior living to continue for the foreseeable future.
But finding all the right information about Home Care Packages can be challenging – which is why we’ve put together a simple guide with everything you need to know before applying.
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package refers to funding allocated by the federal government to seniors for services that can help them stay at home for longer. These services vary depending on the care and support required by the individual, but are ultimately designed for those with more complex needs than what a Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) can provide.
Funding for a Home Care Package is offered in the form of a code, which can be taken to an approved provider that can help organise how the money will be spent on certain services; primarily those that benefit senior health and wellbeing at home and out in the community.
While Home Care Packages offer more choice and flexibility, there are a fixed number available nationally each year and recipients may have to wait until one has been assigned to them, unless they have high care needs that must be prioritised.
MePACS as a Home Care Package Service Provider
MePACS are one of Australia’s leading providers of personal alarms with 24/7 fast emergency response by real people. We’ve been keeping over 40,000 seniors safe and living independently in their own homes for over 30 years.
Want to purchase a MePACS personal alarm with your Home Care Package funding?
Simply contact your home care provider and discuss our range of products and services before applying. You can visit our official product page for more information or the link below:
What types of home care packages are available?
There are four different types of Home Care Packages and each corresponds to a level of care – the higher the number, the more hours of care required.
The same type of care and services are provided under each level. However, package supplements exist for people who are financially or socially disadvantaged, veterans with an accepted mental health condition, live in rural, remote and isolated areas or have dementia.
Who is eligible for a home care package?
To be deemed eligible for a Home Care Package, you will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team/Service (ACAT/S).
An ACAT team includes doctors, nurses, social workers, or other health professionals who will meet with you to identify your care needs and discuss how well you are managing at home alone.
After assessment, you will receive a letter about the types of services you have been approved for and contact details for organisations in your area that can deliver these services.
What services do Home Care Packages provide?
A home care coordinator will help you organise services based on your individual needs at home and in the community. Depending on the type of Home Care Package you receive, you can get assistance with a range of different services including:
- Everyday tasks to maintain your health and independence, including personal care, medical needs, allied health services and meal preparation
- Safety measures in the home, including domestic cleaning, modifications, mobility aids, general maintenance and assistive technology like a MePACS personal alarm
- Outings in the community, including transport or company for shopping and appointments
What am I not allowed to spend my Home Care Package on?
Home Care Packages are for your health and wellbeing only, so it makes sense that there are restrictions as to what is acceptable for the funds to be spent on.
Funding is not allowed for:
- Using the funds as a source of income
- Purchasing food
- Paying for rent, mortgage or a new house
- Additional home modifications or items that don’t contribute to your personal care needs
- Travel and accommodation on personal holidays
- Entertainment and gambling
- Services and items subsidised by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme