It is time to explore and demystify what is included in your Home Care Package. We will start by going right back to the beginning of the journey, unpacking the steps you must take to get a Home Care Package to support you in living your best life in your own home and community. A very important consideration, as many older Australians who have been living in their homes, sometimes for 50 and even 60 years, wish to remain living in their homes with support.
The most important step is the first call to get assessed. It is human behaviour to put things off instead of acting proactively. It all starts with realising that you are starting to struggle with tasks that used to be easy. You could be finding it harder to clean your home or take a shower. You may have lost your confidence in driving and getting to your appointments. If this is you, the moment has arrived to act proactively by phoning My Aged Care to get assessed.
The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will send someone to your home to do a comprehensive assessment, which will help you get funding through Commonwealth Home Support, the funding available before you are awarded a Home Care Package.
Once in the system, you will be assessed and approved for one of the four levels of Home Care Packages. The main goal of a Home Care Package is to keep someone at home and assist them to be as independent as possible. Once that first call is made and the ACAT assessment done, you will be advised if you have been assigned Commonwealth Home Support or a Home Care Package.
What’s the difference between being “approved” and being “assigned” a package?
There is a difference between having been approved a package or assigned a package, and it is important to know the difference to avoid confusion. Having been approved for a Home Care Package simply means that your application to receive support to continue living at home and in your community has been successful. This is going to make a big difference to your quality of life as you age. You will now be entered into a waiting queue awaiting the assignment of your package.
The next step in your journey is when you receive confirmation that your Home Care Package has been assigned. Lower packages, than what was originally approved, are often assigned to get you into the system until your approved level comes through for you. This can create a lot of confusion and it is important to understand this so that you can move forward with clarity.
A Home Care Package can make a good quality of life a reality for you. Once you receive your letter confirming the assignment of your home care package, you are now in a position where you must find yourself a provider of the services approved for you to remain living in your own home.
Should I call a service provider before my home care package is assigned?
The short answer is yes! It can be quite confusing working out what the differences are between approval and assignment and speaking to a local service provider early can help you understand how the process works and what services you might be able to access once your home care package has been assigned.
The step of finding a provider is an exciting step that brings you closer to receiving the support you need at home. Once your package has been assigned you will be calling a provider of your choice to have a case manager assigned to come out and see you in the comfort of your home to explain exactly what a Home Care Package is. Everything will be made clear to you so that you can fully understand the process and what is about to happen next. You can ask as many questions as you want, and this conversation will enable you to move forward with knowledge and understanding.
This conversation will also include what fees are involved, what it can look like and what you can expect. It is important that you have a clear understanding of what is included, what is excluded and why Home Care Package Fees, set by the government, need to be paid.
When looking at what is included in a Home Care Package, it is important to understand that all purchases and expenses must be within the Home Care Package Guidelines. Some people mistakenly assume that the funds are theirs and they can purchase many things and do with the funds as they please. This is not correct. Although we have a consumer-directed model of business, which means that people have choices over the types of care and services they can access and how they are delivered, everything always goes back to an assessed care need within the guidelines, which is documented and approved.
When ACAT, Aged Care Assessment Team visits you in your home to assess you, they will come up with an assessed care need which could include all clinical and allied health, nursing, physiotherapy, cleaning, washing linen, preparing meals, personal alarms and social support to access the community, which is important.
Any sort of equipment can be purchased with the funds allocated to you under your assigned package if an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist recommended it. This is the golden rule and is always adhered to. Your Aged Care Package does not include normal everyday items like rent or mortgage payments, food, televisions, iPhones and holidays etc. It’s always best to check with your service provider what you can and can’t use your package for.
The main goal of a Home Care Package is to enable someone to stay in their home and assist them to be as independent as possible. Be proactive. Think ahead. Don’t wait. Get yourself assessed and your assessed care needs documented, approved and assigned. The first step to leading a well-supported life in the comfort of your own home starts with you when you make that golden first call.
What not contact us today to help start you on your journey to accessing services to help you at home?