What Can I Buy with My Home Care Package?

What Can I Buy with My Home Care Package?

  • Prakash Bartaula
  • 2 July, 2024
11 Min Read

Fund various services to aid older Australians in maintaining independence while living at home. These packages can cover expenses like personal care , nursing and allied health services, domestic support, and social support. They also include funding for assistive technologies and home modifications like walkers, personal alarms, and minor safety modifications. However, these funds are not intended for everyday living costs, entertainment, or standard household items, unless these are essential for medical or safety reasons.

What Can I Buy with My Home Care Package?

Home Care Packages are a vital resource for older Australians who wish to maintain their independence and continue living in their own homes while receiving necessary care and support. These packages provide a range of services tailored to individual needs, helping seniors manage daily tasks and improve their quality of life.

We’ll explore what Home Care Packages are, what services they cover, and how you can make the most of your package funding.

What is a Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package is a government-funded program designed to support older Australians with complex care needs who wish to remain living at home. These packages offer a coordinated approach to delivering care services, providing assistance with everyday tasks and more intensive or complex care requirements.

Home Care Packages are available at four levels, each offering a different amount of funding based on the individual’s assessed care needs:

  • Level 1: Basic care needs
  • Level 2: Low-level care needs
  • Level 3: Intermediate care needs
  • Level 4: High-level care needs

 

Package LevelHours of Care (Approx. per week)Annual Funding (AUD)
Level 11-2 hours$9,180
Level 23-4 hours$16,148
Level 37-9 hours$35,138
Level 410-13 hours$53,268

Please note:

  1. The hours of care are approximate and can vary based on the types of services provided and individual needs.
  2. The annual funding amounts are subject to change and should be verified with the most current information from My Aged Care.
  3. The actual hours of care received may be impacted by factors such as management fees and the specific services chosen.

 

What Can Home Care Package Funds Be Used For?

Home Care Package funds can be used for a wide range of services and supports that help you maintain your independence and improve your quality of life. The specific services available to you will depend on your individual needs and goals, as well as your package level. Here are some common categories of services that can be funded through a Home Care Package:

Personal Care Services

Personal care services are essential for maintaining dignity, hygiene, and overall well-being. These services can include:

  • Assistance with bathing, showering, and personal hygiene: This can involve help with getting in and out of the bath or shower, washing, and drying. For those with limited mobility, specialised equipment like shower chairs or handheld showerheads might be provided.
  • Help with dressing and grooming: This can include assistance with choosing appropriate clothing, putting on and taking off clothes, and help with tasks like hair brushing, shaving, or applying makeup.
  • Mobility assistance: This might involve help with moving around the home, transferring from bed to chair, or using mobility aids like walkers or wheelchairs.
  • Continence management: This can include assistance with toileting, changing incontinence products, and managing related hygiene needs.

Nursing and Allied Health Services

These services provide professional healthcare support in the comfort of your own home:

  • Wound care and medication management: Registered nurses can provide wound dressing changes, medication administration, and monitoring of health conditions.
  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy: These therapies can help improve mobility, strength, and the ability to perform daily tasks. Therapists can provide exercises, recommend assistive devices, and suggest home modifications.
  • Podiatry and foot care: Regular foot care is crucial, especially for those with diabetes or circulation issues. Podiatrists can provide nail care, treat foot conditions, and offer advice on proper footwear.
  • Speech therapy and dietitian services: Speech therapists can assist with communication difficulties and swallowing problems, while dietitians can provide nutritional advice tailored to specific health needs.

Domestic Assistance

Maintaining a clean and functional home environment is important for health and well-being:

  • House cleaning and laundry services: This can include regular cleaning of living areas, bathrooms, and kitchens, as well as washing, drying, and ironing clothes.
  • Meal preparation and cooking assistance: This might involve help with planning nutritious meals, grocery shopping, and preparing or cooking meals. Some services may offer meal delivery options.
  • Shopping for groceries and essentials: Assistance can be provided for creating shopping lists, going to the shops, or arranging online grocery deliveries.
  • Basic home maintenance and gardening: This can include minor repairs, changing light bulbs, mowing lawns, or tending to garden beds to ensure a safe and pleasant home environment.

Social Support and Community Engagement

Maintaining social connections is crucial for mental health and quality of life:

  • Companionship and social activities: This can involve regular visits for conversation, shared activities like reading or playing games, or accompaniment to social events.
  • Transport to appointments and social outings: This might include providing transport or accompanying you to medical appointments, social gatherings, or community events.
  • Assistance with using technology for communication: Help can be provided to set up and use devices like smartphones, tablets, or computers for staying in touch with family and friends.
  • Support to participate in community events and programs: This could involve finding suitable local activities, arranging transport, and providing support to attend community centres, clubs, or classes.

Assistive Technology and Home Modifications

These services aim to make your home safer and more accessible:

  • Mobility aids such as walkers and wheelchairs: Funding can cover the purchase or hire of mobility equipment to help you move around more easily and safely.
  • Personal alarms and monitoring systems: These can provide peace of mind by allowing you to call for help in case of falls or emergencies.
  • Minor home modifications like handrails and ramps: These modifications can make your home safer and more accessible, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Specialised equipment for daily living tasks: This might include items like shower chairs, raised toilet seats, or kitchen aids to make daily tasks easier and safer.

Respite Care

Respite care provides a break for regular carers, ensuring they can maintain their own health and well-being:

  • In-home respite to give carers a break: This involves a care worker coming to your home to provide care while your regular carer takes a break.
  • Centre-based respite care: This involves attending a day centre where activities and care are provided in a group setting.
  • Overnight or short-term residential respite care: This allows for longer periods of respite, with care provided in a residential facility for a few days or weeks.

Care Management and Coordination

These services ensure that your care is well-planned and effectively delivered:

  • Development and review of care plans: This involves working with you to create a personalised care plan that addresses your needs and goals, and regularly reviewing and updating this plan.
  • Coordination of services and providers: Your care manager will arrange and schedule the various services you need, ensuring they work together effectively.
  • Liaison with healthcare professionals: This might involve communicating with your doctor, specialists, or other healthcare providers to ensure coordinated care.
  • Advocacy and support for accessing additional services: Your care manager can help you understand and access other services you might be eligible for, such as community programs or additional government support.

Can I Buy a Fridge with My Home Care Package?

One common question many people ask is, “Can I buy a fridge with my Home Care Package?” The answer is not a simple yes or no, as it depends on your specific circumstances and needs.

In general, Home Care Package funds are not intended for purchasing household appliances or items that would normally be bought with general income. However, there may be exceptions if the item is directly related to your care needs and can be justified as necessary for your health, safety, or independence.

home care package

For example, if you have a medical condition that requires you to store medication at a specific temperature, or if you have mobility issues that make it difficult to access a standard fridge, a specialised or modified refrigerator might be considered an allowable expense under your Home Care Package.

It’s important to discuss any such purchases with your Home Care Package provider before proceeding. They can help you determine whether the item is an appropriate use of your package funds and assist in documenting the justification for the purchase.

Light and Easy Home Care Packages

For those with lower-level care needs, a “Light and Easy” approach to Home Care Packages can be an excellent option. This typically refers to Level 1 or Level 2 packages, which provide support for basic to low-level care needs. These packages can include:

  • Weekly domestic assistance for light housekeeping
  • Fortnightly shopping assistance
  • Monthly social support outings
  • Quarterly allied health services like podiatry
  • Annual home safety checks and minor home modifications

Light and Easy packages focus on maintaining independence and preventing decline, rather than providing intensive care services. They can be an excellent way to introduce support services gradually and build a relationship with your care provider.

Dementia Supplement Home Care Package

For individuals living with dementia, additional support may be available through a dementia supplement. This supplement provides extra funding on top of your regular Home Care Package to help meet the unique care needs associated with dementia.

Services that might be covered under a dementia supplement include:

  • Specialised dementia care and support
  • Memory support activities and cognitive stimulation
  • Additional personal care and supervision
  • Respite care to support family carers
  • Home modifications to improve safety and orientation
  • Specialised equipment to assist with daily living

The dementia supplement can be a valuable resource for maintaining quality of life and supporting both the individual with dementia and their carers.

What Can’t Home Care Package Funds Be Used For?

While Home Care Packages offer flexibility in how funds can be used, there are certain items and services that are explicitly excluded. These include:

  • Day-to-day living expenses (e.g., rent, mortgage payments, groceries)
  • Entertainment activities or holiday expenses
  • Gambling
  • Payment of home care fees
  • Items covered by other government funding (e.g., Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme)
  • Services that are not directly related to your care needs

It’s important to remember that all expenses must be justified as necessary for your care and support, and should be included in your care plan.

Making the Most of Your Home Care Package

To get the most value from your Home Care Package, consider the following tips:

  1. Understand your entitlements: Familiarise yourself with the services available under your package level and any supplements you may be eligible for.
  2. Communicate clearly with your provider: Discuss your needs, goals, and preferences openly with your care manager to ensure your care plan reflects your priorities.
  3. Regular reviews: Participate in regular reviews of your care plan to ensure it continues to meet your changing needs.
  4. Be proactive: If you identify a need or service that could benefit you, discuss it with your provider to see if it can be included in your care plan.
  5. Consider self-management: Some providers offer self-managed options that give you more control over how your package funds are spent.
  6. Stay informed: Keep up to date with any changes to Home Care Package policies or funding that might affect your services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I change my Home Care Package provider? A: Yes, you can change providers if you’re not satisfied with your current service. You’ll need to give notice to your current provider and choose a new one.

Q: What happens if I don’t use all my package funds? A: Unused funds accumulate in your package account and can be used for future care needs. However, it’s generally best to use your full allocation to maximise your care and support.

Q: Can I get additional services not covered by my package? A: Yes, you can pay for additional services privately if your package doesn’t cover all your needs.

Q: How often will my care needs be reassessed? A: Your care needs should be reviewed at least annually, but you can request a reassessment at any time if your circumstances change.

Q: Can I use my package funds to pay family members for care? A: Generally, package funds cannot be used to pay family members for care. However, there may be exceptions in special circumstances, which should be discussed with your provider.

Home Care Packages offer a flexible and personalised approach to aged care, allowing older Australians to receive the support they need while remaining in their own homes. By understanding what services are available and how to use your package funds effectively, you can ensure you’re getting the most out of this valuable resource. 

Remember to work closely with your care provider to develop a care plan that meets your individual needs and helps you maintain your independence and quality of life.

 

Prakash Bartaula

Joined : 5 April, 2024

I’m deeply passionate about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and dedicated to exploring its intricacies. Through research, communication, and writing, I aim to shed light on NDIS provisions and empower individuals with disabilities. Join me as we navigate the transformative potential of the NDIS together.

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