What is a Home Care Package and what is the eligibility criteria for a Home Care Package?
The Australian Government’s Home Care Package program is designed to support older people who want to stay living at home. The program is subsidised by the Government, but you are asked to pay something towards to the cost of the service. The amount you are asked to contribute depends on your income, assets and circumstances.
The program has four levels of packages for different levels of care and support needs, with each level receiving a different amount of funding. The money is paid directly to the provider of your choice and can be used to buy hours of care or other support that suits your needs. The program provides long term support, therefore once you have a Home Care Package, you can keep it for as long as you need it. You may be re-assessed for a higher level if your needs increase.
Whilst Home Care Packages are meant for older persons (generally 65+). There are no citizenship or residency restrictions, although they are not meant for visitors to Australia or for people who need short-term care. Veterans whom receive assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs can also be assessed for a Home Care Package.
I’m not sure when I should start the process of applying for a Home Care package?
If you think you could benefit from some extra support at home, it’s a good idea to have an assessment. Don’t put off having your assessment until you reach a point of urgency as there may be lengthy waiting periods between receiving your ACAT approval and reaching the top of the National Priority Queue (commencement of your funds). A phone call to My Aged Care will help decipher what assessment you need and will start the process for you. Remembering, after the assessment, you decide if you want to proceed with the outcome. It’s your choice.
What are the Home Care Package levels and funding?
There are four levels of Home Care Packages for different care and support needs. The Australian Government pays a different subsidy amount for each level of home care package. This amount is paid to the home care provider you choose. You can use the funds to pay for a range of things that will help you to remain independent, safe and well at home. You are not limited to a prescribed menu of services – what services you receive is your choice.
If you’re eligible for funding, there are four levels of assistance available to you:
Level 1: Basic care needs
Yearly amount paid by the Government up to approximate* value of $8,250 annually / $308.56 fortnightly (as at 18/2/2019)
Level 2: Low-level care needs
Yearly amount paid by the Government up to approximate* value of $15,000 annually / $561.25 fortnightly (as at 18/2/2019)
Level 3: Intermediate care needs
Yearly amount paid by the Government up to approximate* value of $33,000 annually / $1,233.95 fortnightly (as at 18/2/2019)
Level 4: High-level care needs
Yearly amount paid by the Government up to approximate* value of $50,250 annually / $1,875.85 fortnightly (as at 18/2/2019)
* The individual amount that will be paid will depend on whether you are asked to pay an income-tested care fee. Read more via myagedcare.gov.au
Can I pay for a Home Care package privately?
Private fee for service options can be arranged, for more information call our Customer Support Team and we can work together to create a package that supports you.
What services do Home Care Packages provide?
Home care packages can provide a range of clinical care, personal care and support services to assist with day-to-day activities to support seniors to remain living independently at home. Changes to the Home Care Package program means consumers now have more choice about their care and who delivers it. The types of support available through a Home Care Package may include help with housework, personal care, respite, meals and food preparation, transport, shopping, allied health, social support and more.
What range of home care services can Anglican Care HomeLife provide?
- Cleaning and housework
- Personal laundry
- Minor home maintenance and modifications
- Lawn and garden care
- Spring cleaning
- Banking and paying bills
- Hobbies and interests
- Social outings and bus trips
- Personal shopping
- Staying connected with my local community
- Exercise groups
- Allied health professionals
- Restorative care to enhance physical and cognitive function
- GP visits
- Other health professional visits
- Making healthy food choices
- Grocery shopping
- Meal planning
- Meal preparation
- Showering and bathing
- Dressing and grooming
- Toileting and personal hygiene
- Continence management
- Foot and nail care
- Medication monitoring
- Nursing care including wound, diabetes and pain management
- Clinical care and services
- Dementia-specific services
- Palliative and end-of-life care
- Assistive technology
- Mobility and other aids and equipment
Exclusions – what cannot be included in my Home Care Package?
The package won’t pay for:
- Bills (Water, Electricity, Phone etc)
- Mortgage or Rent
- Items already covered by Medicare or Pharmaceutical Benefits
- Programs already funded/subsidised by the Australian Government
What should I consider when looking for a home care provider?
Find out about the fees each organisation can charge, but be careful not to let cost alone be your deciding factor. Each provider will have different strengths and weaknesses.
- Compare costs, you may be willing to pay more, knowing you will always have access to a designated professional.
- Find out what each organisation offers for the cost. You may find that for a minimal cost difference, one provider affords you more flexibility.
- Find out about the organisation’s workforce. Ask about their level of skill and qualification. It may be important to you that they have expertise in chronic and complex disease. Your day-to-day interaction will be with the care staff. So make sure the organisation has the staff you need to deliver you quality care.
- Ask the provider what additional specialists, facilities or networks they have access to. For example, some organisations may have onsite therapy facilities, specialist staff, educators or technology options. If they have access to these things, in the longer run this can add a lot of value to your package.
- Look at what that organisation stands for. You can talk to them, or look on their website. It’s important that you find the organisation that is the ‘right fit’ for you. Do you want a provider with local knowledge about your community? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are the ‘customer’ and you have the right to have any questions or concerns addressed.
What level of training do your Anglican Care Home Care Employees and Home Care Advisors have?
Our Home Care Employees have the minimum qualification of Certificate III in Aged Care as well as ongoing clinical training in topics such as clinical indicators, infection control, dementia and palliative care. All of our Care Advisors are Registered Nurses or allied health professionals who are experts in care and discussing how you can be supported through all four levels of home care packages or accessing our therapy and wellness centres, including nurse practitioner-led health clinics. All of our Home Care staff have had the relevant Police Checks.
Why should I choose Anglican Care as the provider of my Home Care services?
Anglican Care HomeLife is here to help you go on living independently in your own home for as long as possible. After all, you’ve spent a lifetime creating a home – it’s where you belong and where you want to stay.We are an innovative community and aged care provider, operating since 1956. We are a not-for-profit organisation that operates aged care services and solutions for seniors throughout the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid Coast Regions.
While our focus and presence is local, many of our innovative ideas and programs have contributed towards improving the standards of aged care services nationally. We employ a Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurses and Allied Health professionals including Physiotherapists and Dietitians. This contributes to a collaborate model of care that places you at the centre of decision making about your care. We offer a range of support from entry level services through to palliative care. This means you can transition to other services seamlessly within Anglican Care as your care needs change.
Our Care Advisors will sit down with you to help clarify your specific goals and needs. This is an important step in getting to know you (and you getting to know us) so that we can provide the best possible care and support. Then we develop a care plan that’s as individual as you are, taking into account everything that matters to you. The plan will include the details of what services you require to achieve your goals and how those services fit into your Home Care Package.
If you haven’t applied for a home care package, we can assist with that too. Plus, for those waiting on the national queue for a Home Care package, we now how a new service called HomeLife Assist which can help you access services now.
Our HomeLife consumers can also have access to our various Lifestyle and Wellbeing Programs such as ‘Rene’ our mobile resource van. Our DART Program which incorporates therapy based strategies to decrease the escalation of dementia symptoms. As well as our latest program PamperMe, a mobile pampering service. We also host annual catch ups for our HomeLife consumers.
What are the costs of an Anglican Care Home Care package?
Your package funds will comprise Government subsidy, based on your approved level of care, and your Contributions. Client contributions are set by the Government and can include the Basic Daily Care Fee and an Income Tested Care Fee, if applicable. The Basic Daily Care Fee represents 17.5% of the single person rate of the basic age pension.
The Department of Human Services will determine whether an Income Tested Fee will also apply. Government subsidy for your package funds will be reduced by the daily amount that is determined as your Income Tested Fee. This fee cannot be waived or reduced, as it forms part of the total funding for your approved level of care.
If you receive a Government means tested pension, you do not need to lodge an income assessment form, as the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will have the necessary information required to complete this assessment. However, if you receive a Government pension that is not means tested, or you are a self funded retiree, you will need to complete and lodge an Aged Care Fees Income Assessment (SA456) form. If you do not complete this form, you can be asked to pay the maximum income tested fee.
Annual and lifetime caps apply for the Income Tested Fee. Our Customer Support Team can provide more information about maximum rates, cap limits and the income assessment process.
How do I access a Home Care Package?
To get started, you will need to follow the steps below.
- STEP 1. Register with My Aged Care.
To organise an assessment for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or a Home Care Package you need to register with My Aged Care and undergo an assessment. They will organise an assessment either over the phone by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or an assessment at your home by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) for a home care package. To organise your assessment call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit their website myagedcare.gov.au
- STEP 2. Home Care applicants – your assessment. If you require an ACAT assessment, a representative will need to come to your home and talk to you about your lifestyle, health and medical history before advising you of your eligibility services. You are welcome to have a family member or friend with you for support, or you can even request an Anglican Care HomeLife Advisor, to support you through this process. If you want Anglican Care to deliver your services, the ACAT assessor can nominate us as your preferred provider, saving you valuable time once you receive your package.
- STEP 3. Post-assessment & wait lists. If you have been assessed to receive CHSP services, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care regarding what services you are able to access and the different providers. If you have been assessed to receive a Home Care Package, you’ll receive a letter from My Aged Care letting you know the outcome of your assessment, level of support and services you’ve been approved for. You’ll then go on a national waiting list. We have options available to support your needs while you are waiting – see Step 7 below.
- STEP 4. Home Care applicants – prepare your finances. For those wanting to access a Home Care Package and are a part pensioner or self funded retiree, following your assessment you will need to organise an Income and Assets assessment. This step is not necessary for those receiving a full pension. To do this, contact the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) on 1800 227 475. If you receive a Service Pension, contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 133 254.
- STEP 5. Select a Provider. Choosing a provider is a very personal decision, you want to feel comfortable with the quality of the service and support you receive, and that it is delivered by trained people. We believe that our highly skilled people are motivated by genuine compassion, and that’s what sets us apart from others. To explore provider options visit My Aged Care website or call them on 1800 200 422.
- STEP 6. Home Care applicants – approval to start letter & referral code. When you reach the top of the National Priority Queue, My Aged Care will send you a letter with your referral code and Home Care Package level. You have 56 days to activate your service with your preferred provider. (An extension can be granted if you miss the deadline.) If you choose Anglican Care as your provider, it’s time to call and speak to one of our HomeLife Care Advisors. They will arrange to visit your home and sit down with you to develop your care plan, taking into account everything that matters most to you.
- STEP 7. IF REQUIRED Home Care applicants can receive services whilst on the National Wait List. We have a number of options that can assist you while you wait, including HomeLife Assist, as it may take some time for you to be assigned your home care package. As well as HomeLife Assist, our Commonwealth Home Support Programs can support you to remain living independently at home via a range of activities that we provide through our two Day Centres. All with the goal of keeping you healthy, happy and engaged with life. We also provide vital support to carers, helping to nurture their health, wellbeing and resilience. Our Home Care Services can be offered to you as a privately tailored service – funded by you. That means whilst you wait for your start letter and code, you can choose the services you want, when you want them, with no eligibility criteria and no waiting times. The costs incurred will depend on the services and support you choose.
I have more questions, can you help?
Yes. Call our friendly Customer Support Team to discuss your home care needs on 1800 733 553.