“The main benefits of a Home Care Package are that it offers a wider range of services, a higher level of funding and customers can receive more regular support.”—Megan Ruska, Service Coordinator, Australian Unity.
- Home Care Packages offer dedicated yearly funding and access to a wide range of services.
- It’s not always easy to identify when you or a loved one might need more support.
- If you’re finding personal daily tasks are getting harder, family or friends noticing changes in your appearance or having a lack of drive or motivation, it may be time to look into more support.
In her role as Service Coordinator at Australian Unity, Megan Ruska supports customers to identify when it is time to get more support in and around the home. This support comes in the form of a Home Care Package, which offers dedicated yearly funding and access to a wide range of services.
“The main benefits of a Home Care Package are that it offers a wider range of services, a higher level of funding and customers can receive more regular support.” says Megan Ruska, Service Coordinator at Australian Unity
However, it’s not always easy to identify when you or a loved one might need more support, so we’ve shared some of the more common signs to look for and tips on how to make the process of applying easier.
Everyday tasks have become harder
If you’re finding personal daily tasks – such as dressing, bathing, grooming and walking – a little trickier, it might mean you need some additional support. You may have noticed a recent change in your own health or perhaps a friend or loved one has pointed out that things appear to be more challenging.
“Many people manage quite well,” Donna Laverty, Business Development Partner at Australian Unity, says. “However, over time, people can need help more regularly with things like cleaning, transport or gardening. At this point, it’s important to consider applying for a Home Care Package, so that your support can evolve with your needs.”
Changes in appearance
Your care worker, family or friends might notice changes in your appearance, such as noticeable weight loss, dirty clothing, less effort spent on grooming (especially if you’re usually well groomed) or poorer personal hygiene.
“The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, so sometimes customers get a bit scared to shower, particularly if they live on their own,” Donna says.
A Home Care Package could mean additional support when it comes to personal care, whether that’s having someone in the house while you shower – in case you need support – or more hands-on assistance with hair drying, shaving or nail clipping.
Changes in behaviour
Some changes may be subtle, such as a lack of drive or motivation, or disinterest in your usual hobbies and activities. Other variations in behaviour can become obvious to people who know you well, such as more extreme mood swings, a failure to return phone calls to friends and family, or increased agitation.
“Loneliness is a serious health issue, but it can be one that feels embarrassing to talk about,” Donna says. “A Home Care Package can be great if you are feeling isolated and would like to feel more connected with your friends, family or community. Services can include transport to social outings like community groups, local events or someone to go shopping with.”
Megan says that choosing a Home Care Package over the Commonwealth Home Support Programme could be a better choice, especially if you need to access a range of services to support you.
“One of the things we notice is that the minimal support offered through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can sometimes not be enough as customers get older and their needs change. That’s when we usually recommend a Home Care Package.”
If you want to apply for a Home Care Package, we can help. Our team can make an application on your behalf and call My Aged Care to highlight any urgent needs.
If you need to access additional services while you wait for your assessment and approval, we can provide the support you need through privately funded services.
Once your application has been approved, we’ll work with you to confirm your new support plan and increase your services.
If you want to apply for a Home Care Package, email email@example.com or call 1300 160 170 to get started.
Information provided in this article is of a general nature. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest. Interviewee names and titles were accurate at the time of writing.