How to apply for home care package? – Easy Steps

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Realising that you or your loved ones are getting older day by day and might need extra support can be a difficult experience. It might leave you feeling confused or worried. But it doesn’t mean you and your loved ones have to give up their independence or move out of their home. Thus, the Australian Government has introduced the Home care package in Australia so that elderly individuals can get personalized care and services to help them maintain their independence and remain in the comfort of their own homes.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide to applying for a home care package in Australia, ensuring that you have the information and resources you need to navigate the application process successfully.

steps for applying for a home care package

How can you apply for a Home Care Package?

To apply for a home care package, you will need to follow these steps :

Step 1: Understand the Home Care Package Program

Before you apply for a home care package, you need to have a good understanding of the program. Home care packages are funded by the Australian Government and provide older Australians with the support they need to stay in their own homes and continue living independently. The program is designed to help people who need regular assistance with everyday tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, and taking care of themselves.

Step 2: Check Your Eligibility for a Home Care Package

Suppose you want to apply for a home care package. In that case, you need to meet certain criteria to be eligible, you must:

  • Be 65 years old or older (or 50 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) or 50 years or older (or 45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low-income, homeless or at-risk of being homeless.
  • Be a citizen of Australia or a permanent residence,
  • Meet the relevant income and asset tests.
  • Need help with everyday tasks at home or have more complex or intensive care needs due to old age and medical conditions.
  • Have been assessed by the Australian Government’s Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) as needing a home care package.

Step 3: Determine the level of Home Care Packages

Once you check if you’re eligible for a Home Care Package, the next thing is to figure out which level suits you best.

There are four levels of Home Care Packages, showing how much care you need:

Level 1: At the lowest level, you or your loved one will get basic  care, like a few visits from carers each week.

Level 2: Level two will give a bit more care with more frequent visits.

Level 3: The third level is for people who need more help. Carers will visit most days of the week and provide a high level of support.

Level 4: The highest level is for elderly Australians with very high needs. Carers will visit every day and will take care of almost everything.

Step 4: Contact My Aged Care and Find Out More about the HCP Program

My Aged Care is the starting point for accessing government-funded aged care services in Australia. Contact My Aged Care by phone at 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care website (https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/) to discuss your current situation and find out more about the HCP program. If you need low-level support to stay independent in your home, the contact centre may recommend a home support assessment with an RAS assessor. The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) provides the low-level type of support. However, if you have care needs that are greater than what the CHSP can support, a comprehensive assessment with an ACAT assessor may be recommended.

Also Read: Commonwealth Home Support Program vs Home Care Packages: Know the differences

Step 5: Apply for an Assessment

My Aged Care Assessments Team (ACAT) will contact you to schedule a convenient time to visit. These assessments are conducted in person, right in the comfort of your home, so you don’t need to go anywhere. The ACAT assessor will have a copy of the information you provided to My Aged Care, which gives them an idea of what type of assistance you may require to maintain or regain your independence for everyday life at home. Thus, it is important to be open and honest during this assessment to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of care and support.

Step 6: Receive your Result of the Assessment

After the assessment, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care informing you of your assessment outcome. This letter will confirm whether you are eligible for a Home Care Package. If you are eligible, the letter will state the home care package level you are eligible for, ranging from Level 1 (basic care needs) to Level 4 (high-level care needs) with the reasons and evidence supporting the decision and a copy of your support plan developed during the assessment.

After you are approved for a package, it can take some time before one can be assigned to you, depending on the national priority system. During the waiting period, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for setting up care services as soon as a package becomes available.

Step 7: Choose Your Home Care Package Provider

After receiving your assessment results and having been assigned a home care package, you’ll receive a second letter containing a referral code confirming you have been assigned a package. Then, you will have 56 days from the date of your letter to partner with a reputable and quality-approved home care provider, such as Wise Choice in-home care, to enter into a Home Care Agreement. If that doesn’t happen during this period, the package will expire, and it will then be reassigned to the next person who needs a home care package according to the national priority system.

Step 8: Personalised a Care Plan and Budget Plan

Once you have chosen your preferred home care provider, you will need to call them and give them the unique referral code or codes you received.

If you have chosen us – Wise Choice in-home care, as a health care provider, a member of our care team will personally visit and offer you a Home Care Agreement, then will discuss, design and develop a personalised care plan and budget plan together with you and your family or carer at your own home, before you start to receive services and support at home.

Conclusion

Applying for a home care package in Australia requires several steps, from understanding the program and assessing your eligibility to choosing a provider and developing a care plan. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can confidently navigate the application process and ensure that you receive the appropriate level of care and support to help you maintain your independence and well-being in the comfort of your home. Remember, the My Aged Care website and contact centre are valuable resources that can provide further guidance and assistance throughout the process.

Getting a Home Care Package can be a complicated process, but with our easy-to-follow guide, you will be well-prepared. Even after completing the application process, you still need to carefully consider which service provider you’ll choose, and it’s essential to find one that not only meets your needs but also cares for you like a family. At Wise Choice, we prioritise creating a safe and comfortable environment, peace of mind and respect for every individual needs and preferences. Contact us today to learn more about how we can stay by your side every step of the way on your journey towards ageing gracefully at home.

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