Good news this month for older Australians looking for some support to continue living in the homes and communities they love. We’re hearing from more and more Australians that are benefiting from the 40,000+ home care packages released into the community allowing for people to get the care and support they need.
Could the next recipient be you or your loved one?
Five Good Friends CEO Simon Lockyer said many older Australians will have received wonderful news this month with the arrival of the home care allocation letter.
“Nearly 90,000 Australians are currently sitting on the Home Care Package waitlist. The Royal Commission into Aged Care urged the Government to act urgently and reduce waiting times for older Australians seeking in-home support.”
“For many Australians, the wait is soon to be over and they can access the care and support they need, in the homes and communities they love”
“We have been in regular contact with applicants to the Home Care Package programme for whom the delivery of much needed care has been slowed by long waitlists. We’re pleased to report an increase in applicants who have now been approved to begin receiving care.”
The latest Home Care Package data report for the March quarter indicates that the Federal Government is finally managing to get wait list numbers and wait times down.
The 35-page report – which examines the operation of the Home Care Packages program between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 – states that waiting times for a Level 1 package are now three to six months, while waiting times for Level 2, 3 and 4 Packages are now nine to 12 months.
“With the release of more home care packages, we are very keen to see that the wait for older Australians to get care, help and support while remaining independent and living at home is getting shorter.”
Mr Lockyer said older Australians who now have been allocated a home care package also get to choose who they want to provide their care.
“It is important to remember, once you’ve been assigned a Home Care Package, you and your loved ones get to choose which Government Approved Provider you’d like to deliver your care and support.”
“Five Good Friends has built been built focusing on the customer and understanding their needs. This is underpinned by a unique service delivery model that combines skilled and caring people with clever technology.”
The goal is to provide a transparent, responsive and flexible service that keeps individuals and their loved ones informed and in control.
More care and support for you - Home Care Packages
Where to start?
If you have been on a waiting list to receive home care package funding or think you might be eligible for the programme but do not know where to start, we’ve compiled some simple advice to help you identify how you can progress towards receiving care.
Free Personalised Advice – Talk to Us
If you would like to talk to a Five Good Friends Care Advisor to get free personalized advice and assistance on applying for and receiving home care package funding - please call our Care Advice Line on 1300 787 581 any time during business hours or register now for a call back.
What is a Home Care Package?
Home Care Packages provide funding for older Australians who require care and help to live independently in their own homes. Home Care Packages offer a more managed and holistic service than the Commonwealth Home Support Programme with a broader range of supports and ongoing oversight from a skilled professional to manage your care and services.
There are four levels of home care packages and funding to help meet the different levels of care needs.
- Level 1 – Basic care needs – $9,026.50 funding per year
- Level 2 – Low level care needs – approximately $15,877.50 funding per year
- Level 3 – Intermediate care needs – approximately $34,550.90 funding per year
- Level 4 – High level care needs – approximately $52,377 funding per year
*These figures are updated every year
Who is Eligible?
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 are eligible.
- All other Australians over the age of 65 are eligible to apply for the Home Care Package program.
What is a Home Care Package provider and how do I find one?
Once you’ve been assigned a Home Care Package, you choose which Government Approved Provider you’d like to deliver your care and support. The provider will work with you to design a tailored Care Plan that suits your needs and goals.
Five Good Friend is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages.
The funding for your Home Care Package is paid directly by the government to the provider you choose. You remain in control though, and each month they will send you a statement to show how much has been spent and on what services.
You can search my aged care for other Approved Providers of Home Care Packages in your area.
I haven’t applied yet – how do I do that?
To access a Home Care Package you have to complete an assessment.
The assessment is booked through My Aged Care, the government’s gateway to all aged and home care services. Your GP or health professional can contact My Aged Care on your behalf and arrange an assessment or you can contact My Aged Care yourself on 1800 200 422. Trusted family, friends and carers can arrange an assessment on behalf of a loved one as well.
A Five Good Friends Care Advisor is also able to assist you in arranging an assessment.
The initial discussion with My Aged Care will take about 10 minutes and you will need your Medicare card. During the discussion the person you talk to will ask your permission to create a client record.
After registering with My Aged Care, you’ll be contacted by the appropriate assessment team to set a time for the assessment, which will usually be in your home.
Depending on which service you’re suited to and where you live, it can take up to 12 weeks to have your assessment. In urgent situations, an assessment can be organised in 48 hours.
How to prepare for a home care assessment?
Many people misunderstand the purpose of an ACAT assessment and think it’s solely designed to move people to an aged care nursing home. This isn’t true.
While the assessor can approve an individual for an aged care nursing home and respite, the government wants as many people as possible living in the homes and communities they love for as long as possible. The assessment is designed to support this goal.
During your assessment, you’ll be asked about:
- What you can do for yourself and what you’re seeking assistance with
- If you have any health concerns
- How you’re managing with activities around the home
- Your safety in the home
- You may also be observed moving in and around your home to understand any mobility challenges you may be facing.
When answering questions, it’s really important to think about the future as well as the present. Talk about tasks and activities that are starting to become difficult and that you can see you may require more help with in the future.
I’ve been assessed and I’m waiting on a package – what should I look out for?
Within two weeks of the assessment, you’ll receive a letter from My Aged Care with the outcome of your assessment. This will set out the level of Home Care Package you have been approved to receive. If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you can register your concern with the manager of the assessment.
When you reach the top of the national wait list, My Aged Care will send you a letter with your referral code and Home Care Package level so you can start organising your services.
What should I do when I receive my package allocation letter?
You then have 56 days to activate your services by choosing and engaging an approved provider of Home Care Packages – so it’s important to act fast.
If you are planning on receiving care from Five Good Friends, we recommend you call our Care Advice line as soon as you receive this letter on 1300 787 581 – we will arrange everything to sign up, claim and commence home care delivery for you.