4 Things You Need to Know To Access Government Home Care Package Funding
Most people have the dream of being able to age gracefully in their own home. The alternative, moving into an Aged Care Home (Nursing Home) is much less palatable and probably not the first preference of anyone. However, for many, there comes a time when an Aged Care Home becomes a necessary decision due to the natural challenges that living at home can bring. At least, this is what’s been true in the past. Thankfully, with increasing government investment into the Home Care Package Program, older adults are now able to receive up to $52,000 a year in aged care services in their own home!
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package is a government-funded pool of money that can be used to pay for services and support that will help to keep those living safely at home.
You or your loved one can access these funds by applying, being assessed, approved for and then allocated Home Care Package. Now, this can be time-consuming, confusing and stressful. There are only a certain number of Packages available, so the waiting period is also long and people with higher needs are prioritised over those with lower needs.
Untangle the mess!
On your own, the Home Care Package process is overwhelming and daunting. However, there are tools in place to help you navigate, and they’re free. CareAbout is a free service offering expert advice and tips so that you can breeze through the convoluted process without stumbling over the common hurdles.
Here are 4 things you need to know to get started!
1. Home Care Package Levels
Home Care Packages come in four different levels. The level you’re approved for depends on the level of care you require. For example, if you have low level needs and can still manage most of your daily tasks independently, you’ll most likely be approved for a level 1 Home Care Package. However, if your care needs are more complicated and you need a lot of help in order to manage all of your day to day tasks, you’ll be approved for a level 3 or level 4 Home Care Package.
2. What you can use your Home Care Package for
One of the great things about a Home Care Package is that you can choose what Home Care services you want to use it for.
Here are some of the most common services that Home Care Packages are used for:
- Home maintenance (clear paths, lightbulbs changed)
- Personal care
What can’t a Home Care Package be used for?
There are some things that your Home Care Package will not pay for, such as accommodation payments, entertainment such as movies or gambling, grocery items…link to more.
3. Package Fees
Home Care Packages do come with fees, however not everyone has to pay them!
There are a few fees that are important to understand, however the most confusing fee is called the income tested fee. Not everyone has to pay this, it’s just for those who earn income over a certain amount (your assets are not included in this). For more detail on the ITF, see here.
There is also a Basic Daily Fee, which is set by the government and is equal to 15% of the pension. Not all providers charge this fee, many choose to waive it.
On top of the two government fees above, there are also a variety of fees and payments set by your chosen provider. These include management and administration fees, which pay for the provider to administrate your care, with things like scheduling your care workers, developing a care plan, paying any third party service providers, applying for any additional government subsidies.
Some providers will also charge a set up fee that helps them to set you up as a new customer, and an exit fee that is charged if you choose to leave and find a new provider.
4. How to find a quality provider
There are so many different Home Care providers out there, and they’re all different! Finding a provider that understands and suits your needs is key to getting the most out of your funding and services. Trying to sort through all of the providers in your area can be incredibly overwhelming. How do you know which questions to ask them, or what you should be looking for? How do you tell a quality, trustworthy provider from one who is less so?
Having an expert on your side can help to alleviate any concerns you may have. CareAbout knows how to screen providers to sort the good from the not-so-good, and has a panel of quality providers who are ready to help you and your loved one.
Get started on your journey with Home Care download CareAbout’s free guide;