Home Care Packages Program
This fact sheet provides an overview about the Home Care Package program arrangements, including information about the requirement for care to be delivered on a Consumer Directed Care basis.
The Home Care Packages Program helps you live independently in your own home for as long as you can. The Australian Government provides a subsidy to an approved home care provider towards a package of care, services and case management to meet your individual needs. The Home Care Packages Program provides four levels of support:
- Home Care Level 1 – basic care needs
- Home Care Level 2 – low level care needs
- Home Care Level 3 – intermediate care needs
- Home Care Level 4 – high care needs
Your home care package funds can be used to purchase a wide range of services including:
- Clinical care, such as nursing, allied health and physiotherapy for mobility and strength;
- Support services, such as help around the home, visiting the doctor and attending social activities;
- Personal care, such as help with showering, dressing and moving around the home; and
- Nutrition such as assistance with preparing meals, including special diets for health, assistance with using eating utensils and assistance with feeding.
You should not be limited to a basic list of services. Home care providers have the ability to broker out services to meet your needs if they are not able to provide a specific service.
What is Consumer Directed Care (CDC)?
Consumer Directed Care (CDC) gives you flexibility and choice in the delivery of your care and services under your home care package. It gives you more control in determining the types of care and services you receive, how they are delivered, by whom and when.
From 1 July 2015, all home care packages have been required to be delivered on a CDC basis. Home care package providers must work in partnership with you to design and deliver services that meet your goals and assessed care needs as determined by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
Your provider is required to give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your home care.
Your provider must:
- offer you a Home Care Agreement that records the administrative details for your home care package;
- give you a copy of the Aged Care Principles’ Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities – Home Care, and explain its content to you (the charter is available in 18 languages);
- supply you with a written care plan, designed to meet your goals and assessed care needs as determined by an ACAT. The care plan will set out the day to day services you will receive, who will provide the service and when. You must be issued with this care plan within 14 days of entering into your Home Care Agreement;
- develop an individualised budget that outlines the financial resources available to you, including both Government subsidies and supplements and the fees or contributions you pay yourself. Your budget will explain how those funds are to be used; and
- give you a monthly statement outlining how your funds have been used during that month and the funds remaining in your home care package.
When you have agreed to your individualised budget and care plan they will form part of your Home Care Agreement.
What am I entitled to?
When you start to receive services you are entitled to:
- have ongoing conversations with your provider about your needs and goals;
- work with your provider to update and co-produce care plans if your care needs change;
- have your monthly statements explained to you;
- be involved in managing your home care package, if you would like to; and
- be formally reassessed, if you wish, to ensure that your care and services continue to meet your needs.
- You can have another person with you when you have discussions with your home care package provider. This may be a family member or friend. Your provider will support and encourage this involvement.
- An advocate can also help you in discussions with your service provider. The Government funds advocacy services under the National Aged Care Advocacy Programme. An advocate’s services are free, confidential and independent. If you would like to access an advocate you can call the National Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600.
- Let your provider know if you need an interpreter to help you with your care plan and Home Care Agreement discussions. Your provider can access the Government-funded Translating and Interpreting Service at no cost to you.
- If you are unhappy with any aspect of the care or services you receive from your provider, you can speak to your provider about your concerns in the first instance. If you are unable to resolve your concerns, you may wish to lodge a complaint with the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner. The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner can be contacted on 1800 500 294.
For more information about home care visit the My Aged Care website or contact centre on 1800 200 422* (Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm AEST).
If you need an interpreter, we can help through the Translating and Interpreting Service. Call 131 450 and ask for 1800 200 422*.
If you wish to lodge a complaint with the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, you can call 1800 500 294*.
* Calls to 1800 numbers are generally free when made from a landline. All calls made from mobile phones are charged at the rates applicable to each telephone provider.
- Your pathway to accessing a home care package
- Your guide to home care package services
- The Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities - Home Care
- Researching home care providers – considerations and checklist
- Entering into a Home Care Agreement – considerations and checklist