The 2020 Australian Federal Budget announcement included a commitment to fund an additional 23,000 new Home Care Packages for older Australians waiting to receive in home care at a cost of $1.6 billion.
This significant inclusion is welcomed by Five Good Friends – we are in regular contact with applicants to the Home Care Package programme for whom the delivery of much needed care has been slowed by waitlists.
Over 100,000 Australians are sitting on the Home Care Package waitlist. The interim report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified the federal government needed to act urgently to reduce waiting times for older Australians seeking in-home support.
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.
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 – approximately $9,000 funding per year
- Level 2 – Low level care needs – approximately $15,000 funding per year
- Level 3 – Intermediate care needs – approximately $30,000 funding per year
- Level 4 – High level care needs – approximately $52,000 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.
You’ll also be placed on a national priority ‘queue’ (waitlist) for Home Care Packages and will be contacted when a suitable package becomes available and assigned to you. This, unfortunately, can take from 3 months up to 12 – 18 months. The recent announcement of an additional 23,000 Home Care Packages in the 2020 Federal Budget will hopefully shorten these times.
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.