How to Access a Home Care Package: A Step-by-Step Guide
Home Care |
When it comes to the wellbeing and health of you or a loved one, knowing how to access a Home Care Package and getting the necessary care and support services are crucial, particularly as one ages. Fortunately, Home Care Packages (HCP) are one of the ways older Australians can access care services to get the help they need, all in the comfort of their own home.
Flexible and suited to an individual’s specific requirements, packages are a great option to create a coordinated approach to assistance at home, and range from help with everyday tasks to support for more complex and high level care needs.
Below, we outline the basics you need to know about the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages, including a step by step guide to get you or a loved one started on a new care journey today.
What is a Home Care Package?
The Home Care Package Programme is a government-subsidised program which allows senior Australians to access the help they need to continue living independently at home. So if you are 65 years old and eligible for this funding, you can connect with a range of personal care services to keep you connected with the community, remain independent, and live life your way.
In terms of cost, services are scheduled based on an individual’s specific care needs. The Australian Government provides four levels of subsidy for a Home Care Package. This ranges from Level 1, which is assigned to those needing a basic level of care, to Level 4, assigned to those with more complex care needs.
When you apply, your Home Care Package budget will be determined by the amount of government-funded support associated with your allocated package. In some cases, following an income assessment, you may be asked to pay additional fees towards your home care needs. This fee is based on your financial assets.
If you require additional care services in excess of your available Home Care Package funds and individualised budget, private services may also be available.
How to Access a Home Care Package: A step-by-step guide
1) Recognise when help is needed
Understanding when you or a loved one is in need of extra help is crucial, however, in some cases, it can be difficult to see the warning signs. Have you noticed recent changes in appearance, grooming, hygiene, daily activities, social habits, eating habits and other domestic routines? If these changes have been of a negative nature, it could be time to start thinking about options for extra assistance – whether it’s through a home care service provider or local area aged care services.
2) Start the conversation early
It can often be difficult to talk with a loved one about their need for extra help as they age, particularly those who may already have concerns about losing their independence.
However, home care is designed to enable individuals to access the tailored support they need, in the comfort of their own home. Remember – with the right support, they may actually be able to live independently at home for even longer.
It’s advised that you start the conversation early, with the expectation that it may take multiple conversations. This gives you and your loved ones an opportunity to engage in a series of discussions and make the best decision regarding future care and support needs.
3) Investigate the available options
Educating yourself about available services is important to help determine what would work best for you or your loved one. If discussing home care with others, think about encouraging and empowering them to do their own research too.
This could involve drawing on the experiences of people they trust – including friends, family or even a healthcare professional – as well as researching home care online.
4) Contact My Aged Care or seek a referral
To begin the application process, you need to contact My Aged Care (MAC) and request an assessment. Once you do that, you will be assigned a unique referral code.
If you’d like assistance with this process, Respect can make a referral for an assessment on your behalf and provide interim services while the application process is underway.
5) Get assessed
Next, you’ll get assessed over the phone by MAC. This is a good opportunity to discuss your specific care needs and current situation, to ensure all your preferences and requirements are taken into account.
During this stage, if you wish, Respect is happy to be on the phone with you for extra support across the assessment process.
6) Complete an in-home assessment
If your care needs indicate that you require a Home Care Package, MAC will refer you to an Aged Care Assessment Team to complete an in-home assessment. The outcome of this assessment will determine your eligibility, and the home care package level to best meet your needs.
The Respect Home Care team is available to assist you during this step.
7) Receive your outcome of assessment
Throughout the whole process, you can track your progress and access information, including waiting times, approvals and letters, about your Home Care Package through your MAC online account via mygov.com.au.
MAC will notify you of your assessment outcome via mail – whether you’re eligible for a Home Care Package and, if so, the package level approved. Keep in mind – wait times could be high as you’ll be put on a national priority-based waiting list.
8) Get assigned a package
MAC will notify you of the allocation of your package via mail. You’ll have 56 days from the date of allocation to choose a home care provider and start receiving home care. An extension of 28 days is available if needed.
Once you’re assigned a Home Care Package, you can contact Respect and we can assist you with the next steps.
9) Create a care plan
The last step before your Home Care Package starts is to create a customised care plan based on your needs, living situation and health.
If you’ve chosen Respect as your Home Care Package provider, this is where one of our Care Managers will work closely with you, by understanding your lifestyle and requirements, as well as aspirations and goals. Once you’re happy with the care plan that has been created, we can start delivering you the services.
Need Help? Start Here
At Respect, we’re passionate about supporting Australians as they age, and ensuring the next phase of their lives are filled with purpose and possibilities.
Learning how to access a Home Care Package and receiving care at home doesn’t have to be complicated. We deliver a range of services, all individualised to your needs. Our promise is to be by your side right from the beginning of your home care journey when you first start your application process.
We understand the Home Care Package application process can be stressful and time consuming. So if you or a loved one is finding it difficult to get started or navigate through the above steps, please know our friendly team of Care Managers is there for you.
With an understanding of the process inside out, including applying for government-funded support, we can help you get started right away.
Your future should shine with meaning, comfort and conveniences – and with the support of Respect, you’re backed by over a century of care and consideration for the way you live.
For more information about how to access a Home Care Package and get started with home care, including the available opportunities and Respect’s range of services, download our digital brochure. If you would like to talk to a Care Advisor, please call 1300 144 144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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