What are Home Care Packages?
Published: 27 February 2018
Published: 27 February 2018
Home Care Packages aim to assist older Australians to live in their own homes as independently as they can, for as long as able (My Aged Care 2017a).
Of course, this is as per the client’s preferences and if they so choose to, as opposed to living in a residential care facility.
There are four levels of support through the Package Program, with Level 1 being basic care, and Level 4 being the high-level care needs (My Aged Care 2017a).
Each care level is linked to a different subsidy amount paid to the care provider that the client has chosen to deliver their care. The client may need to pay an amount on top of the government subsidy (My Aged Care 2017a).
(My Aged Care 2017a)
Home Care package funds are not used for general costs of living, however, as My Aged Care state:
‘Home care package funds cannot be used as a general source of income for items such as day-to-day bills, food, mortgage payments or rent as an example. You can find a full list of exclusions on www.myagedcare.gov.au’
The four levels of packages are:
(Department of Health 2017)
The following flowchart by NSW Health (CC 2017, ) explains the My Aged Care Assessment and Service Referral Pathway:
NSW Health (2017) explains that changes were made to aged care to improve consumer choices and meet the growing demands of the health sector.
It is acknowledged that whilst in 2006, 14% of the population was aged over 65 years old, but now it is expected that up to 20% of the population will be aged over 65 by 2030 (NSW Health 2017).
Whilst people are living longer, chronic illness is also on the rise (NSW Health 2017). This exemplifies the need for new, innovative approaches to meet the growing and changing needs of the population; whilst, simultaneously providing person-centred, individualised care.
The My Aged Care portal has been established as a ‘central point of access for aged care services and information in Australia’ (NSW Health 2017).
The idea of My Aged Care is that there will be a client record that can more easily flow between, or be accessed by, clients, healthcare providers and organisations (NSW Health 2017). The objective is that only one referral to My Aged Care will be needed in order to provide clients with access to various services (NSW Health 2017).
My Aged Care provide access to a checklist to help clients that plan to enter a Home Care Package Agreement here.
The My Aged Care checklist makes the following considerations:
(My Aged Care 2017b)
Department of Health (2016) lists the following Home Care Supplements:
Contact My Aged Care and the Department of Health for further information:
Madeline Gilkes, CDE, RN, is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. She focused her Master of Healthcare Leadership research project on health coaching for long-term weight loss in obese adults. Madeline has found a passion for preventative nursing. She has transitioned from leadership roles (CNS Gerontology & Education, Clinical Facilitator) in the acute/hospital setting to education management and primary healthcare. Madeline’s vision is to implement lifestyle medicine to prevent and treat chronic conditions. Her research proposal for her PhD involves Lifestyle Medicine for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Madeline is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) and primarily works in the academic role of Head of Nursing. Madeline’s philosophy focuses on using humanistic management, adult learning theories/evidence and self-efficacy theories and interventions to promote positive learning environments. In addition to her Master of Healthcare Leadership, Madeline has a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education & Management, Graduate Certificate in Adult & Vocational Education, Graduate Certificate of Aged Care Nursing, and a Bachelor of Nursing. She is working towards her PhD. See Educator Profile