Living in your own home for as long as possible is a personal goal of many people as they get older. It can however have the potential to add financial and emotional strain, especially when additional care and safety needs are required.
If you or your loved ones need assistance and support to continue living comfortably at home, The Australian government’s Home Care Package (HCP) might be the solution you’re looking for.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Home Care Packages, their benefits, eligibility criteria, and how to access them.
Understanding Home Care Packages
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package is a government-subsidised program designed to provide a range of services that support elderly people in their daily lives, ensuring they can age in place. These packages offer a flexible and personalised approach to care, allowing recipients to choose services that align with their specific needs and preferences.
HCP’s are ideally designed for people who have more complex needs than what a Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) can provide.
Levels of Home Care Packages
Home Care Packages are divided into four levels, each corresponding to the level of care required:
- Level 1: Basic care needs
- Level 2: Low-level care needs
- Level 3: Intermediate care needs
- Level 4: High-level care needs
Services Covered by Home Care Packages
Personal Care Services
Personal care services encompass assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and mobility. These services ensure individuals can maintain their personal hygiene and appearance comfortably.
Nursing and Allied Health Services
Nursing services, including medication management and wound care, are provided to individuals with specific medical needs. Allied health services like physiotherapy and occupational therapy can also be included to improve mobility and overall well-being.
Home care packages cover domestic services such as cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation. These services help maintain a safe and healthy living environment.
Social support services promote social interaction and prevent isolation. Recipients can engage in activities, outings, and companionship to enhance their emotional well-being.
Home Modifications and Maintenance
For those with mobility challenges, home modifications such as ramps or handrails may be provided. General home maintenance services are also available to ensure the safety and comfort of the living space.
Services not covered by Home Care Packages
HCP funding can only be used for health and wellbeing, so the funding cannot be used for:
- Using is 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
To be eligible for a Home Care Package, you must undergo an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). The assessment evaluates their care needs, medical conditions, and overall well-being.
Priority for Home Care Packages
Priority is given to people with higher care needs and those experiencing difficulties in performing daily tasks. The assessment outcome determines the level of care required.
Applying for a Home Care Package
Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) Assessment
If you are eligible for an HCP you need to contact My Aged Care to arrange an ACAT assessment to identify your care needs and discuss how well you are managing at home alone. This assessment will determine your eligibility and the appropriate level of care.
Choosing a Home Care Provider
After the assessment, you will receive a letter with information about the types of services you have been approved for. You will also get a list of approved HCP providers in your area that can help organise the services you need. You can choose the provider that aligns with your preferences and needs, and they will work with you to develop your personalised care plan.
Waiting times for Home Care Packages can vary, but interim services may be available to you. These services can provide temporary support while you wait for your approved package to become available.
Managing Your Home Care Package
Each Home Care Package comes with a designated case manager who collaborates with you to create and adjust your care plan based on your evolving needs. Home Care Packages operate under a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) model, which means you have more control over your care choices, services, and providers.
Using HCP funding for a MePACS personal alarm
MePACS is an approved HCP provider, which means you can use HCP funding to cover the cost of a MePACS personal alarm.
To apply for an HCP funded personal alarm system, you need to contact your HCP Case Manager and discuss your needs and available funding. MePACS can then assist you HCP provider with the application process.
A Home Care Package offers a valuable solution for elderly individuals who wish to age in the comfort of their own homes. Through a personalized approach to care, these packages provide essential support to meet individual needs, enhance well-being, and promote independent living. If you or your loved ones are seeking to maintain a high quality of life while receiving the necessary assistance, a Home Care Package could be the answer.
If you’d like more information about HCP funded alarms please call us on 1800 685 329.