In Home Care
The Australian Government have developed a number of services for older people, enabling them to live as independently as possible in their own home. There are a vast range of services available, from an array of providers, but many older people are not aware of these services or how to access them.
What is In Home Care?
In Home Care is where a provider offers a range of home care and support services that are tailored to meet the individual needs of people. The Australian government provides a subsidy to approved service providers to coordinate/facilitate the care services.
There are various levels of care on offer which are flexible and may include assistance with: personal hygiene and dressing, domestic tasks, preparing meals, shopping, transport, gardening and social support, restorative care.
What types of In Home Care can I access?
Home Care Package (HCP)
The most significant In Home Care service provided by the Government is a Home Care Package. \Under a Home Care Package, you are provided with an allocation of funds, from which you can engage a provider to assist you with your care, purchase equipment and/or make modifications to your accommodation, all of which will assist you to continue to live independently.
There are four levels of a Home Care Package, with the lowest level
Level 1 for basic care needs
Level 2 for low-level care needs
Level 3 for intermediate care needs
Level 4 for high-level care needs.
Each level receives a different amount of government funding. A Level 4 package provides the highest amount of funding thus enabling you to access more services than the other levels.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
The Commonwealth Home Support Program offers a lesser level of care than a Home Care Package. You are approved to receive a selection of services, which you may receive from one or more providers. You are required to pay a cost for these services, however this cost is subsidized by the government. Often people will access CHSP services while they are awaiting funding approval for a Home Care Package.
If you require In Home Care and do not have approval for a Home Care package or Commonwealth Home Support Program, or alternatively, if you have approval, but you require additional care, you may wish to engage a provider privately. You will be required to pay the costs of this care as they are not subsidized by the Government. You may wish to supplement the care you receive under a Home Care package by accessing private care.
Home Care packages
How can I obtain a Home Care Package?
Prior to accessing a Home Care Package you require approval from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). ). To request an ACAT assessment you should phone My Aged Care 1800 200 422. An assessor will then arrange a time to carry out the assessment in your home. You may request approval for both In Home Care and Residential Care as part of the same ACAT assessment.
Once that approval is granted your name will go on a National waiting list (National Queue). When your name comes up on the National Queue, you will receive a letter advising you that the funding allocation for your Home Care Package has been approved.
What do I have to do when I receive notification of funding approval for a Home Care Package?
You need to obtain the services of a provider to deliver the Home Care Package to you. After you have received written notification that your allocation of funding has been granted, you have 56 days to engage the services of a provider. There is provision for a further 28 day extension if required.
How do I choose a provider?
You will need to contact a provider of your choice and ask them to provide the services you require. Providers charge different fees, so some may provide more hours of care to you than others. You may wish to request more than one provider to give you a quote. Alternatively, Age Care Directions can act on your behalf and find the provider who is able to offer you the best outcome.
What fees can the providers charge?
Providers may charge an Administration Fee, a Case Management Fee and an Exit Fee, should you decide to change providers. These fees are deducted from your Home Care Package funds allocation, meaning the higher these fees, the less hours of care you will receive. Providers are able to charge different rates for the above fees, and not all providers charge all of the fees. So it pays to shop around.
What is the cost of a Home Care Package?
You will be required to pay a Basic Daily Care Fee, which is paid by everyone, and also an Income Tested Fee, which is means tested and only payable if your income exceeds the threshold amount. This is determined by you lodging a ‘Aged Care Fees Income Assessment’
What services can I access under a Home Care Package?
There are a large number of services you can access. They range from assistance with personal care, such as showering & dressing, to home tasks, including shopping, cooking, cleaning & laundry, or even social support, such as an outing or someone sitting with you at home and having a chat. You can also use your funding to purchase aids and equipment.
What is Consumer Directed Care?
Consumer Directed Care is where you, the consumer, can decide what you require assistance with, rather than being given a selection of items by the provider to choose from. Consumer Directed Care gives you complete control when making decisions about the types of care and services you wish to access.
How long do I have to wait to receive notification of funding approval for a Home Care Package?
The National Queue is very long and it could take several months for your funding approval. In some instances, you will receive approval for a lower level of funding as an interim step, then at a later time receive the full funding for the level of care you were approved to receive. While awaiting your funding allocation, you may wish to access the services approved under the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
Commonwealth Home Support Program
How can I access the Commonwealth Home Support Program?
Prior to accessing the Commonwealth Home Support Program you require approval from the Regional Assessment Team (RAS) or Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). To request an assessment you should phone My Aged Care 1800 200 422. An assessor will then arrange a time to carry out the assessment in your home, You may request approval for both In Home Care and Residential Care as part of the same ACAT assessment.
Once you have approval you will be contacted by a provider who is able to offer the services you have been approved to receive. It may be the case that more than one provider will contact you, and between them they can offer the services you require.
What is the cost of the Commonwealth Home Support Program?
You will pay a fee for each service you access, however the cost of each service will be subsidised by the Government, so the cost should be relatively low.
What services can I access through the Commonwealth Home Support Program?
There are a large number of services you can access. They range from assistance with personal care, such as showering & dressing, to home tasks, including shopping, cooking, cleaning & laundry, or even social support, such as an outing or someone sitting with you at home and having a chat. You can even access overnight respite care through some facilities.
For assistance with accessing In Home Care