Frequently Asked Questions about Home Care Packages
What is a Home Care Package?
The Australian Government’s Home Care Packages Program helps you to live independently in your own home for as long as you can. The Program provides a subsidy towards a package of care, services and case management to meet your personal needs. There are four levels of home care packages. A professional assessor will work with you to find out if a home care package is the right service for you, which level of service you need and when you might need it.
The four package levels are structured as follows:
- Level 1 (Basic Level of Care) approximately 2 -3 hours of care per week
- Level 2 (Low Level of Care) approximately 3-5 hours of care per week
- Level 3 (Intermediate Level of Care) approximately 8-11hours of care per week
- Level 4 (High Level of Care) approximately 10-15 hours of care per week
Each level of home care package provides a different subsidy amount. This amount is paid to an approved home care provider that you have selected. The subsidy contributes to the total cost of your service and care delivery.
Home Care Package funds aren’t paid to you directly. Instead, you choose an Approved Home Care Package provider to administer the funds on your behalf and give you ‘case management’ support and advice and care services.
What is the Commonwealth Home Support Program?
How to get a Home Care Package and choose the right provider?
What is included in a Home Care Package?
- choose care and services that best meet your needs and goals
- manage your care and services.
There are four levels of home care packages to help meet the different levels of care needs. During your aged care assessment, your assessor will discuss your current care needs and determine the best level to meet them. It is expected that more people will be assessed as eligible for a lower level package, with a smaller number being assessed as needing higher level packages.
Eligibility for Home Care Packages?
- an older person who needs coordinated services to help you to stay in your home
- a younger person with a disability, dementia or other special care needs that are not met through other specialist services.
There are no minimum age requirements or residency restrictions but home care packages are not intended for visitors to Australia or people requiring temporary or short-term care.
What Steps need to be taken to get a Home Care Pacakge?
What Services can I receive as part of a Home Care Package?
- Personal services: assistance with personal activities such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing and undressing, mobility and communication.
- Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet: assistance with preparing meals, including special diets for health, religious, cultural or other reasons; assistance with using eating utensils and assistance with feeding.
- Continence management: assistance in using continence aids and appliances such as disposable pads and absorbent aids, commode chairs, bedpans and urinals, catheter and urinary drainage appliances, and enemas.
- Mobility and dexterity: providing crutches, quadruped walkers, walking frames, walking sticks, mechanical devices for lifting, bed rails, slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows, pressure-relieving mattresses and assistance with the use of these aids.
- Nursing, allied health and other clinical services: speech therapy, podiatry, occupational or physiotherapy services, hearing and vision services. Home care level 1 and 2 packages are not intended to provide comprehensive clinical or health services. Home care level 3 and 4 packages have a greater emphasis on delivering complex care in the home, including more clinical care where needed.
- Transport and personal assistance: assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities.
- Management of skin integrity: assistance with bandages, dressings and skin emollients.
A home care package may also be used to support the use of:
- telehealth: video conferencing and digital technology (including remote monitoring) to increase access to timely and appropriate care
- assistive technology: such as aids and equipment (particularly those that assist a person to perform daily living tasks), as well as devices that assist mobility, communication and personal safety
- aids and equipment: some aids and equipment that are directly associated with your care needs can be purchased using funds from your package budget. Read more about aids and equipment.
Is there any restrictions to a Home Care Package?
- items that would normally be purchased out of general income
- buying food, except as part of enteral feeding requirements
- payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments or rent
- payment of home care fees
- payment of fees or charges for other types of care funded or jointly funded by the Australian Government
- home modifications or assets that are not related to your care needs
- travel and accommodation for holidays
- cost of entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events
- gambling activities
- payment for services and items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Consumer directed care
All home care packages must be provided on a consumer directed care basis. Which means your provider will work with you to identify a home care package of care and services to meet your needs so you can live a more active and independent life.