In Home Care: A guide to receiving a home care package

If you or a loved one has decided that you need some long-term assistance to remain living at home while enjoying the lifestyle that you are accustomed to, you may be eligible for a government funded Home Care Package. We have outlined below the 7 steps to receiving a Home Care Package to help guide you through the process.

The 7 Steps to Receiving a Home Care Package:

1. Arrange an Aged Care Assessment   

If you have not already been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), you or your representative will need to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. Alternatively, a loved one or trusted advisor can make a referral on your behalf through the My Aged Care website referral form.
The staff at the contact centre will ask you some questions in order to understand your needs. If your discussion with them indicates that you might need a Home Care Package then they will arrange a free assessment with your local Aged Care Assessment Team.

2. Be assessed for a Home Care Package 

A professional health and community care clinician will visit you at home to assess your eligibility for a Home Care Package. They will talk to you about how well you are managing in your day-to-day life and explain to you the assessment process.
You can have a representative or family member present with you during the assessment if you wish.

3. Receive the outcome of your assessment

You will receive a confirmation letter from ACAT to tell you if you are eligible to receive a Home Care Package.
If you are eligible, the letter will tell you the level of home care package that has been approved and your priority for care.

The table below show what levels of care are available and the approximate funding per annum for each level of care (amounts are correct as at 15 June 2018):

Level 1 – Basic care, which might include cleaning once a week $8,000
Level 2 – Low level care, which might include cleaning and some personal care $14,500
Level 3 – Intermediate care, which might include cleaning, personal care and some nursing care $32,500
Level 4 – High care, which might include cleaning, personal care and more complex nursing care $49,500

4. Make enquiries about who will provide your services

Contact Service Providers in your area to find out what services they offer and how those services can best suit your needs.
Be aware that Service Providers can apply administration and case management costs and these may vary from provider to provider so you may want to enquire about what charges can apply.
Only an approved Home Care Package Provider can host a Home Care Package. They have satisfied the Department of Health’s criteria to administer packages on behalf of consumers.

5. Be Assigned a Home Care Package 

Your Home Care Package will be assigned based on your position in a national queue. When it becomes available you will receive a letter from My Aged Care that contains a unique referral code that you will need to provide to your chosen Service Provider.

6. Enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen Service Provider 

Once a Home Care Package is assigned, you have 56 days to choose a Homecare Service Provider and enter into a Home Care Agreement.
The Home Care Agreement sets out how your services will be provided, who provides them and how much they cost. Your chosen Provider will work with you develop a personal care plan and budget which will form the basis of your agreement.
The care plan will take into account your needs, personal preferences and lifestyle choices. Your Service Provider will help you identify services that are appropriate for you taking into account the lifestyle you wish to maintain.
Your budget will detail the government subsidy, the basic daily fee, your maximum income tested care fee and any additional amount you have agreed to pay for services not covered in your package.

An important note about Fees and Costs: 

Home Care Packages are only fully subsidised for those on the full pension. There will be a cost to self-funded retirees, including those on a part pension. This cost will be determined after you have received your package, and you will usually have to provide details of your income and assets to Centrelink.
For an estimate of what it is likely to cost, please use this fee estimator.

7. Start Receiving Services 

Once you have a Home Care Agreement with a care plan and budget you can start receiving services that will help you to enjoy the lifestyle you are accustomed to in your own home.
As an Accredited Aged Care Professional, Simon Schembri of Lifewealth Group is heavily involved in providing Lifewealth’s Aged Care and Home Care service to clients and assist them to navigate the maze of aged-care services. Gives us a call to have an initial & obligation free discussion to talk through what’s important to you and the next steps (if any). This includes introducing you to our preferred Provider of Home Care Packages; Colbrow Home Care

Call Simon Schembri on 03 9670 3434 or email simons@lifewealth.com.au to find out more about home care services.

Colbrow Homecare is Approved Provider of Home Care Packages and has been providing in-home nursing and care since 1957. We have an extremely competitive Administration and Case Management fee structure, which means that you have more of your package to use on services. Call Colbrow on 1300 33 11 03 or email homecare@colbrow.com to find out more about home care services.