The Australian Government on the MyAgedCare website defines a home care package as one of the ways that older Australians can access affordable care services to get help at home. They are designed for those with more complex care needs and require a coordinated approach to the delivery of help at home.
So how is a package funded?
With everyone’s needs different, there are four levels of packages available. Level 1 provides for basic care needs with approximately $8,750 a year provided by the government, through to a Level 4 which caters for people with higher care needs and is funded to approximately $50,750 a year. You are also expected to contribute to the cost of your home care if you can afford it. There is a basic daily fee and some people may also be expected to pay an income-tested care fee as determined by a formal income assessment from the Department of Human Services. Your annual pool of funds (the funds contributed by the government and yourself) is the budget you have to work with to fund your care and support. Providers work with you to oversee your care and help you get the most out of your package.
Anglican Care’s General Manager of Community Care Services, Chris Giles, is a passionate advocate in supporting seniors to remain living independently at home. Chris states,
“Our Care Advisors are trained professionals who work with seniors to help them to maximise their funding to cater for their wants and needs now and into the future. “When you become a home care package consumer, they work with you to draw up a personalised care plan and budget unique to your needs. The budget summarises how your funding is to be spent based on the things that are most important to you”.
It is important to expend the monies allocated to you. You can set aside a small sum for future care needs or events, but it is important to know that any remaining funds (unspent funds) are returned to the government when you leave your home care package.
There are lots of creative ways you can put your funds to good use while still having a little tucked away for that unexpected situation. Perhaps an iPad would help you keep in touch with people? Is there a class or outing you would like to attend where you need the transport arranged for you?
The key is to work together with your provider to make the most out of your funds to make your life easier and more enjoyable. For more information head to the MyAgedCare website.
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