Tags: Health Home care Flourish

“Our goal is to allow each person to lead and be in control of their package and their independent day-to-day life as much as possible” – Wendy Burdack, Australian Unity Home Care Package specialist.

Do you need a bit of extra help keeping your home clean? Or would you like someone to take you on a weekly outing? Are you caring for a loved one whose needs have increased? 

Whether you or your loved one are already receiving home care services, or whether your needs have changed, having the flexibility to seek assistance when you need it is an important key to maintaining your independence. 

Wendy Burdack, an Australian Unity Home Care Package specialist, says government-funded Home Care Packages have been designed to keep more Australians in their own homes for longer. 

“Home Care Package clients remain active and independent in their community, continue to meet new people with similar interests and continue to be satisfied with their lives,” Wendy says. 

“They are able to actively use and share their valuable skills and maintain their feelings of self-worth.” 

Home care customer with Australian Unity home care worker

Ageing population

Australia’s population is ageing. In 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that around 15 per cent (3.7 million) of the nation’s population was aged 65 and over. This number is expected to double by 2057. 

“The Australian Government has changed the way support is delivered to older Australians. These changes are important for a sustainable and quality aged care system that is more consumer-driven, market-based and less regulated,” Wendy says. 

“Our nation benefits from Home Care Packages. Individuals, families and carers are able to use it to promote wellbeing and independence.” 

Home Care Packages are funded by the Federal Government and available to all eligible Australians who have been assessed by My Aged Care, the Australian Government support service for aged care. 

The level of funding support for an individual is determined by an assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (Aged Care Assessment Service in Victoria) following a referral for an assessment by My Aged Care.

Individual respect

Australian Unity home care services takes the time to get to know their client, and then tailor a Home Care Package to meet each individual’s skills, goals, abilities and experiences.

Home Care Packages can also be used to assist someone to gain new skills or reach a particular goal that has been identified as part of their support plan.

“Our goal is to allow each person to lead and be in control of their package and their independent day-to-day life as much as possible,” Wendy says.

Care and concern

Very often, though, carers are the ones who need support but don’t know they can ask for it or what is available.

“Carers who were reluctantly looking at placing their life-long partner or someone special they care for into residential care, report that the assistance provided through their Home Care Package has made a huge difference,” Wendy says.

“In many instances carers have reported that personal-care assistance – such as getting a loved one out of bed, washing, toileting and dressing them in the morning – has made such a huge difference that they now feel their caring role is sustainable.”

Older man enjoying a cup of tea

Type of services

Home Care Packages can include services such as personal care, support with household chores such as cooking, cleaning and laundry, home and garden maintenance, pet care, assistance to maintain social connections, and transport (see right).

Home Care Package funds can also be used to provide equipment and make modifications to the home environment to support independent living.

When creating a tailored support plan, an Australian Unity team member will sit with the client to learn what’s important to them, what might improve their day-to-day life, what they enjoy and what they need to remain independent and safe in their own home.

This could involve a visit from an occupational therapist or some minor home modifications.

Australian Unity home care services also aims to reconnect people with their community: they might like to join (or rejoin) a garden club, or play bowls, bingo or cards.

“We will ask what they might need in order to participate; it might be transport, equipment or someone to come with them to the first few meetings,” Wendy says.