Earlier this year the Federal Government introduced changes to the allocation of government funded home care packages.
Previously packages were allocated directly to care providers who “cherry picked” recipients from a national database. This meant care recipients had no say in which organisation provides the package.
From March 2017 home care packages have been directly allocated to recipients, in a move to empower Australians to select the care providers that best meet their needs. While this consumer revolution has been largely positive, it is not without challenges.
What is a home care package?
Subsidised by the Federal Government, a home care package allocates a set number of hours for in-home care per week. A person can access this if their care needs require it.
How do I apply?
Applicants contact the government service “My Aged Care” to order an assessment of their needs, graded levels 1, 2, 3, or 4. A package deemed appropriate to your care needs will be allocated.
What can I use it for?
Once a package is allocated, it is at your discretion as to how the care hours are best used; this may be personal care, cleaning, gardening etc.
How much does it cost?
For full pensioners, there is a fee of $10.10 per day. For part-pensioners and self-funded retirees, there is an income-tested contribution.
Greater care, greater complications
In addition to the new home care provisions, the Federal Government injected an additional 30,000 home care packages – however since March 2017 significant delays in the assessment are leading Australians to choose to move to residential care, or if they have the means, engage a home care provider on private terms.
Successful home care applicants have 56 days to engage a provider of their choice, however in the absence of a government-funded case manager recipients are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate the new system.
Already a complex process, there has been an introduction of exit fees of up to $4,000 payable, by the care recipient should they choose to change providers.
How can Aged Care Advice help me?
For most families, the prospect of home care as opposed to residential is far more appealing. These new home care packages are a move towards fulfilling this wish, however, the system is not without its complexities and challenges.
Our team of experts are independent of the government and aged care facilities. They understand your concerns and have significant experience in working with people entering care and their families to provide smarter aged care solutions.