What is Included in a Level 2 Home Care Package?

What is Included in a Level 2 Home Care Package?

  • Prakash Bartaula
  • 4 July, 2024
13 Min Read

Includes personal care services (bathing, grooming, medication reminders), domestic assistance (housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation), allied health and therapy services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietitian consultations), social support (companionship, help attending community events), basic home maintenance (minor repairs, gardening, safety aid installation), transport services (medical appointments, shopping trips), and basic nursing care (wound care, health monitoring).

What is Included in a Level 2 Home Care Package?

Level 2 Home Care Packages are an integral part of the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting older Australians who wish to maintain their independence and continue living in their own homes. These packages are specifically designed for individuals with low-level care needs, offering a range of services and support to enhance their quality of life and wellbeing.

As part of the broader Home Care Packages Program, which comprises four levels of care to accommodate varying degrees of support requirements, Level 2 packages occupy a crucial position in the spectrum of aged care services. They bridge the gap between basic home support and more intensive care levels, providing tailored assistance to those who need more than occasional help but don’t require high-level care.

A Level 2 package is ideal for older Australians who are largely independent but may struggle with certain daily tasks or have minor health concerns that necessitate regular, albeit not constant, support. This level of care aims to prevent the escalation of care needs by providing timely and appropriate assistance, thereby potentially delaying or avoiding the need for residential aged care.

What Services are Included in a Level 2 Home Care Package?

What Can I Buy with My Home Care Package

Level 2 Home Care Packages offer a diverse range of services, all of which can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the recipient. The flexibility of these packages allows for a personalised approach to care, ensuring that each person receives the support that best suits their specific circumstances. Let’s delve into the various categories of services typically included:

Personal Care Services

Personal care forms a cornerstone of Level 2 packages, focusing on maintaining the dignity and independence of the care recipient. These services include:

  • Assistance with bathing, showering, and personal hygiene
  • Help with dressing and grooming, including hair care and dental hygiene
  • Support with mobility and transfers, such as getting in and out of bed or chairs
  • Toileting assistance and continence management
  • Medication reminders and supervision of medication intake
  • Assistance with fitting and using mobility aids or other assistive devices

Domestic Assistance

Maintaining a clean and organised living environment is crucial for both physical health and mental wellbeing. Domestic assistance services in a Level 2 package may include:

  • Light housekeeping tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, and mopping floors
  • Laundry services, including washing, drying, and ironing clothes
  • Changing bed linens and making beds
  • Meal planning and preparation, with consideration for nutritional needs and preferences
  • Assistance with grocery shopping and putting away groceries
  • Basic home organisation and decluttering
  • Washing dishes and keeping the kitchen area clean and hygienic

Allied Health and Therapy Services

To support overall health and functionality, Level 2 packages often include access to various allied health professionals. These services can be crucial in maintaining or improving physical and cognitive abilities:

  • Physiotherapy sessions to improve mobility, strength, and balance
  • Occupational therapy assessments and interventions to enhance daily living skills
  • Podiatry services for foot care, especially important for those with diabetes or mobility issues
  • Speech therapy to address communication or swallowing difficulties
  • Dietitian consultations for nutritional advice and meal planning
  • Exercise physiology to develop safe and effective exercise programs
  • Massage therapy for pain management and relaxation

Social Support and Community Access

community access

Maintaining social connections and engaging with the community is vital for mental health and overall wellbeing. Level 2 packages can include:

  • Companionship and social interaction, including conversation and shared activities
  • Assistance with attending community events, clubs, or religious services
  • Support for maintaining hobbies and interests, such as gardening or crafts
  • Help with letter writing or using technology to stay connected with family and friends
  • Accompaniment to social outings or recreational activities
  • Support in learning new skills or pursuing educational interests

 

Basic Home Maintenance

Keeping the home environment safe and well-maintained is an important aspect of Level 2 packages. Services may include:

  • Minor repairs and basic household maintenance tasks
  • Gardening services, such as mowing lawns, pruning, and weeding
  • Changing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries
  • Installation of safety aids like grab rails, non-slip mats, or ramps
  • Assistance with organising professional services for larger maintenance tasks
  • Basic pet care, if applicable

Transport Services

Maintaining independence often relies on the ability to travel to various appointments and activities. Transport services in a Level 2 package can include:

  • Transport to and from medical appointments or health services
  • Assistance with shopping trips or social outings
  • Support for using public transport, including planning routes and accompaniment
  • Help with accessing community transport services
  • Assistance with mobility equipment when travelling

Nursing Care

While Level 2 packages are not designed for high-level nursing needs, they can include some basic nursing services:

  • Wound care for minor injuries or post-operative care
  • Health monitoring, such as blood pressure checks or blood glucose monitoring
  • Medication reviews and management
  • Assistance with managing chronic conditions
  • Health education and promotion
  • Liaison with GPs and other healthcare providers

How Many Hours are Provided in a Level 2 Home Care Package?

One of the most common questions about Level 2 Home Care Packages is regarding the number of care hours provided. It’s important to understand that there isn’t a fixed number of hours associated with these packages. Instead, the hours of support are determined by several factors:

  1. Individual Care Needs: The specific requirements of the care recipient play a significant role in determining the hours of care. Someone needing assistance with multiple daily tasks may receive more hours than someone requiring less intensive support.
  2. Types of Services Required: Different services have varying time requirements. For example, personal care tasks might take less time than a social outing or a therapy session.
  3. Provider Rates and Fees: The hourly rates charged by service providers can impact the total number of hours that can be funded through the package.
  4. Management of the Package Budget: How efficiently the package funds are managed can affect the number of care hours received.

On average, a Level 2 Home Care Package may provide approximately 2-3 hours of support per week. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and the actual hours can vary significantly based on the factors mentioned above.

It’s crucial to note that the focus of these packages is on meeting the individual’s needs rather than providing a set number of hours. Some recipients might receive more frequent, shorter visits, while others might have fewer, longer sessions of care.

To maximise the hours of care received, it’s essential to work closely with your chosen provider to create a care plan that efficiently utilises the available funds. This might involve prioritising certain services, combining tasks where possible, or exploring innovative ways to meet care needs.

What is a Level 2 Home Care Package Worth?

Understanding the monetary value of a Level 2 Home Care Package is crucial for recipients and their families to plan effectively and make informed decisions about care options. As of 2024, the approximate annual government subsidy for a Level 2 package is:

  • Basic daily fee: £15.81 per day
  • Annual subsidy: Approximately £17,000 per year

It’s important to note that these figures can change, and it’s always advisable to check the most current rates on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website or with your chosen service provider.

The actual value of services received may differ from this amount due to several factors:

  1. Basic Daily Fee: Care recipients may be asked to pay a basic daily fee, which can be up to 17.5% of the single basic age pension. This fee is added to the government subsidy, potentially increasing the total package value.
  2. Income-Tested Care Fee: Some recipients may need to pay an income-tested care fee, based on their income assessment. This fee is also added to the package, increasing its overall value.
  3. Provider Fees: Different providers may charge varying amounts for administration and case management, which can affect the amount available for direct care services.
  4. Efficient Package Management: How well the package is managed can impact its effective value. Efficient use of funds can lead to more services being accessed.

It’s worth noting that the monetary value of the package doesn’t always directly correlate with the number of care hours received. Some services, such as allied health appointments or specialised equipment, may be more costly but occur less frequently than regular personal care or domestic assistance.

To get the most value from a Level 2 Home Care Package, consider the following:

  • Shop around and compare different providers’ fees and services
  • Regularly review your care plan to ensure it aligns with your current needs
  • Consider using a mix of services to address various aspects of your care needs
  • Explore options for assistive technology that could complement hands-on care services

Eligibility for a Level 2 Home Care Package

Eligibility for a Level 2 Home Care Package is determined through a comprehensive assessment process. To be eligible, an individual must:

  1. Be an older person who needs coordination of supports and services to help them live independently in their home
  2. Be assessed and approved as eligible for a Home Care Package by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
  3. Be determined to have care needs that align with a Level 2 package

The assessment process considers various factors, including:

  • Physical health and mobility
  • Cognitive function
  • Social needs
  • Current support systems
  • Home environment
  • Cultural and linguistic background
  • Overall wellbeing and quality of life

It’s important to note that while an individual may be assessed as eligible for a Level 2 package, there may be a waiting period before a package becomes available due to demand. During this waiting period, individuals may be offered entry-level support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

How to Apply for a Level 2 Home Care Package

The application process for a Level 2 Home Care Package involves several steps:

  1. Initial Contact: Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit their website to arrange an assessment. This is your entry point into the aged care system.
  2. Home Support Assessment: A trained assessor will visit your home to determine your care needs and eligibility for services. They will ask questions about your daily activities, health, and current support systems.
  3. ACAT Assessment: If the initial assessment indicates you may need a Home Care Package, an Aged Care Assessment Team will conduct a comprehensive assessment. This assessment is more detailed and will determine the level of care you require.
  4. Approval: If approved, you will receive a letter confirming your eligibility and package level. This letter will also include your referral code, which you’ll need when choosing a service provider.
  5. Waiting Period: You may be placed in a national queue for a package to become available. The waiting time can vary depending on your assessed need and the availability of packages.
  6. Package Assignment: Once a package is assigned, you will receive a letter notifying you of the assignment. You then have 56 days to choose a provider and enter into a Home Care Agreement.
  7. Care Plan Development: Work with your chosen provider to create a personalised care plan that meets your specific needs. This plan should detail the services you’ll receive and how your package funds will be spent.

Managing Your Level 2 Home Care Package

Effective management of your Level 2 Home Care Package is crucial to ensure you receive the maximum benefit from the available resources. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Choosing a Provider

Selecting the right provider is a critical decision that can significantly impact your care experience:

  • Research and compare different providers in your area
  • Consider factors such as service quality, fees, and flexibility
  • Read reviews and ask for recommendations from others who use Home Care Packages
  • Attend information sessions or request face-to-face meetings with potential providers
  • Ask about their approach to care and how they handle client concerns

Understanding Your Budget

Having a clear understanding of your package budget is essential for making informed decisions about your care:

  • Familiarise yourself with your package budget and how it’s allocated
  • Discuss fee structures and any additional costs with your provider
  • Ask for regular statements detailing how your funds are being spent
  • Understand the difference between core services and package management fees

Regular Reviews

Your care needs may change over time, so regular reviews are important:

  • Participate in regular care plan reviews to ensure your package continues to meet your changing needs
  • Don’t hesitate to request changes or additional services if required
  • Be proactive in communicating any changes in your circumstances or health status

Consumer Directed Care

Remember that Home Care Packages operate under a Consumer Directed Care model, giving you more control over the types of care and services you receive:

  • Take an active role in decision-making about your care
  • Discuss your goals and preferences with your provider
  • Explore different options for how your care is delivered

Maximising the Value of Your Level 2 Home Care Package

To get the most out of your Level 2 Home Care Package:

  1. Prioritise Your Needs: Focus on services that will have the most significant impact on your quality of life and independence.
  2. Explore All Options: Discuss with your provider the full range of services available under your package. Don’t hesitate to ask about services you’re unsure about.
  3. Consider Flexibility: Some providers offer more flexible service options, such as shorter service times or alternative support methods. This can help stretch your package funds further.
  4. Utilise Technology: Ask about assistive technologies that could complement your care services. These might include personal alarms, medication reminders, or smart home devices.
  5. Combine Services: Where possible, combine different types of support during a single visit to maximise efficiency. For example, a carer might assist with personal care and then help with meal preparation.
  6. Stay Informed: Keep up to date with any changes to the Home Care Packages Program that might affect your care. Attend information sessions or join support groups for package recipients.
  7. Consider Your Informal Support Network: Work with your provider to ensure your package complements the support you receive from family and friends, rather than replacing it.
  8. Be Open to Reassessment: If you feel your care needs have increased, don’t hesitate to request a reassessment. You may be eligible for a higher-level package.

By understanding what is included in a Level 2 Home Care Package, how many hours it typically provides, and its approximate worth, you can make informed decisions about your care. Remember, the goal is to tailor the package to your specific needs, ensuring you receive the support necessary to maintain your independence and quality of life at home. With careful planning and management, a Level 2 Home Care Package can significantly enhance your daily life and overall wellbeing.

 

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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