Do you need help at home? Don’t know where to start? Here is everything you need to know about applying for and accessing a government-funded Home Care Package.
5 steps for applying for a Home Care Package
- Request an assessment - Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and request a Home Care assessment. Alternatively, call Australian Unity on 1300 160 170 and we can make a referral to My Aged Care
- Assessment - An assessor from My Aged Care will make a time with you to come to your home to discuss your goals and support needs.
- Eligibility success - If you are deemed eligible, you'll be placed on a national waitlist and notified when a package becomes available that meets your needs.
- Service providers - When your Home Care Package is available you will be provided with a list of service providers, including Australian Unity.
- Choose a service provider - From the date that your Home Care Package is allocated to you, you have 56 days to enter into an agreement with a service provider. You will develop a home care support plan with your new provider who will work with you to provide services to meet the goals you have discussed.
Home Care Packages are designed to keep people in their homes for as long as possible, says Wendy Burdack, a Home Care Package specialist at Australian Unity.
“We want to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain independent. It’s all about connecting people with the necessary support services, so they are safe and secure,” Wendy says.
Home Care Packages are funded by the Federal Government and are available to all eligible older Australians who have been assessed by My Aged Care.
My Aged Care is the main entry point to the aged care system in Australia. If you’d like to access government-funded home services, Australian Unity can assist you with a referral to My Aged Care or you can phone My Aged Care directly on 1800 200 422 and ask for an assessment. During this initial phone call you will need to answer some questions about yourself and register your details.
Next, an assessor will contact you and arrange for an assessment to take place in your home.
After your assessment, My Aged Care will send you a letter to let you know the outcome of your assessment. If you have been deemed eligible for a Home Care Package, they’ll also let you know what level of funding you can access, based on your support needs. You’ll then be placed on a national waiting list and when funding becomes available, you will receive a letter telling you that you have been assigned a Home Care Package.
There is no timeframe for this to occur, but there may be other options available if you need urgent support.
When you get to the stage where you have been allocated funding for your Home Care Package, it’s up to you then to choose a preferred home services provider, such as Australian Unity.
Your preferred home services provider will then sit down with you to create a tailored support plan.
“We ask people what’s important to them, what might improve their day-to-day life, what they enjoy and what they need to stay safe at home. This could involve a visit from an occupational therapist or some minor home modifications,” Wendy says.
“We also aim to reconnect people with their community so if, for example, they used to be in a garden club, we find out what they need in order to go back and rejoin. It might be as simple as providing transport or sending someone along with them for the first couple of meetings for support.”
Home Care Packages include services such as personal care, cleaning, cooking, and transport.
Wendy says it’s important for people to be honest about what they need, and what their preferences are. If you like your laundry done a certain way, or want a particular meal, it’s OK to say so. The support team is there to meet your needs, not tell you what to do or impose its will.
“We’re here to help you stay in your home for as long as possible,” Wendy says.
Download our Home Services product brochure to find out more about the services we provide.
If you have an enquiry about Home Care Packages you can contact us online or phone 1300 160 170.