Home Care Packages provide assistance for people who need help to stay safe and well at home.
Sometimes you may find that you cannot manage some things around your home like you used to. Home Care Packages are one type of assistance that you could use, alongside the support of family and friends and other community resources. They can help with personal care, general support around the home and help you to stay healthy.
If you think you might like to have some assistance, you can make enquiries to see if you are eligible for a Home Care Package.
An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) member can talk to you about your situation and determine if you are eligible. If it is agreed that you are eligible, you can go to an approved Home Care Package provider, who receives funding from the Commonwealth Government to work with you to arrange the assistance you require.
Home Care Packages come with a lot of flexibility. The Consumer Directed Care approach (CDC) puts you – the consumer – in the driver’s seat if you wish. You have the opportunity to say how the funds allocated to you in your package are used, so that you can get the supports you think will best help.
What is Consumer Directed Care (CDC)
With CDC the funds the government has allocated for your home care package, together with your co-contribution, are set aside in a budget for you. Its purpose is to help you stay at home for as long as possible, and provided that it meets legal and safety requirements, you will get to make the decisions about how the funds are spent. Your home care service provider holds these funds or your behalf and works with you to coordinate the services you want.
When your home care package is provided in the CDC way, you will get a statement that lets you see exactly the funds you have, how much you can spend and how much goes on what. You can decide on the arrangements that will work best for you. If your home care provider can’t deliver what you need, then you can ask them to try to buy it from somewhere else. That might be another home care provider, a different sort of service provider or a local shop or business.
Of course there might be some things that aren’t possible, or may not be within your budget, and you might need to come up with an alternate plan.
An important part of CDC is that it’s all about building on what you CAN do rather than focusing on what you CAN’T do. It’s about helping you to continue to live a good life at home. Even if you have had some health issues, the right sort of assistance can help you feel healthier and back doing more things for yourself.
You can also buy extra services with your own funds if you can afford it and want to have more assistance than is covered by your home care package.
The relationship between you and your service provider is really important to achieve what you want. Their role is to work in partnership with you to give you support and advice, as much or as little as you want or need.
What kinds of assistance can I have?
The funds in your home care package are to pay for help that keeps you safe and well at home. There are three main kinds of help you can have. We’ve given some examples of that help here but you can talk about having other things too.
- dressing, showering and using the toilet
- making meals and eating.
General support services
- doing the cleaning and laundry
- doing the shopping and getting to appointments
- staying connected with your activities, interests, friends and community
- gardening and home maintenance
- changes to your home to make it safer and easier for you to live there
- 24 hour on-call service
- lots of different kinds of advice about staying at home.
Help to stay healthy
- nurse visits
- seeing professionals like physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dentists, podiatrists and dieticians
- providing bandages and other items needed to look after wounds
- providing technological devices, equipment and other items that help you to do things like get around, look after your personal hygiene, make yourself understood and generally stay safe.
Of course there are some things you can’t use your home care package for, like paying your rent or mortgage, buying your groceries or paying for holidays. But you CAN use it to pay for your regular care needs while you are away on holiday. And if you don’t use one or more of the services in your package for a period of time, because you are away or in hospital for example, you may be able to use or save some of the funds for other things.