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Five steps to apply for a Home Care Package

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.

Home Care Packages are designed to keep people in their homes for as long as possible.

“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,” says Wendy Burdack, an Australian Unity Home Care Package specialist. 

Home Care Packages are funded by the Federal Government and are available to eligible older Australians who have been assessed by My Aged Care.

1. Request an assessment 

My Aged Care is the main entry point to the aged care system, and during an initial phone call you will need to answer some questions about yourself and register your details.

You can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and request a Home Care assessment, or call Australian Unity on 1300 160 170 and we can make a referral to My Aged Care on your behalf.

2. 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.

3. Eligibility success 

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 be placed on a national waitlist and notified when a package becomes available that meets your needs.

There is no timeframe for this to occur, but there may be other options available if you need urgent support.

4. Service providers

When your Home Care Package is available, you will receive a letter telling you that you have been assigned a Home Care Package. You will be provided with a list of service providers, including Australian Unity. 

5. Work with your 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.

Your preferred home services provider will 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 re-join. It might be as simple as providing transport or sending someone along with them for the first couple of meetings for support.”

If you would like more information about Home Care Packages or would like Australian Unity to make a referral to My Aged Care on your behalf, please phone 1300 160 170 or visit Australian Unity’s website to read more.

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