Home Care Packages
WHAT IS A HOME CARE PACKAGE?
The Australian Government’s Home Care Package (HCP) program is designed to provide you with support that will address and respond to your complex care needs, ultimately providing you with the support to remain living independently in your home longer.
Levels of Home Care
A Home Care Package (HCP) is defined as four levels of consumer directed coordinated packages of services to meet a person’s specific care needs, including personal care, support services, transport, clinical care and allied health services.
The four levels of a Home Care Packages include:
The aim of a Home Care Package is to help older people live as independently as possible, with a focus on working with you, rather than doing for you. Home Care Packages are about building on your strengths, capacity and goals to promote your ability to remain living in your own home longer.
Entry level support is defined as home support services at either:
- Low intensity services on a short term or ongoing basis; or
- High intensity services delivered on a short term or episodic basis
As people age, they can develop conditions or experience increased frailties which impede the ability to continue living in their own home longer. A Home Care Package plays an important role in promoting independence and autonomy by providing subsidised packaged services that support older people to remain in their own home longer.
Accessing A Home Care Package
In order for you to access a Home Care Package, you must first be registered and assessed by the Australian Government’s centralised contact centre, known as My Aged Care. ComLink can help you through the entire process.
ComLink can assist you to have My Aged Care register your details in a National Database that allows you to transfer your services from one provider to another, without having to be re-assessed each time.
Once registered, you will be assessed to determine the level of assistance you would benefit from. ComLink will guide you through the entire process.
Once assessed, you will receive a letter from the Government to advise you have been approved a Home Care Package. You will then be placed in the National Queue and allocated a package determined by your priority for care and the length of time you have waited for a Home Care Package.
Call ComLink on 1300 761 011 and we will assist you through the entire process.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information about Home Care Packages, please see frequently asked questions below.
ComLink is committed to ensuring your needs are met in a timely manner. Ordinarily, you are required to be registered through My Aged Care and have an assessment before you can commence with services.
ComLink can provide interim services to you without you having to be registered with My Aged Care or being assessed in the event you are faced in an urgent situation. We understand that things happen sometimes. Things we have no control over. Whether you fall ill suddenly or your normal carer is unavailable, ComLink can help.
Call ComLink on 1300 761 011 to discuss and we will work with you to ensure your urgent needs are met.
The good news is, ComLink has created a short cut for you!
ComLink genuinely care about the people in our community and understand making contact with call centres and assessors can be a little overwhelming, so we have adapted our processes to ensure the whole transition is made a lot easier for you.
Call ComLink on 1300 761 011 and inform the friendly staff you need assistance to continue living in your home independently and ComLink will make a direct referral for you and arrange for the ACAT assessor to visit you in your home.
ComLink can even be present during the ACAT assessment should you choose. You just need to let us know and we will make it happen for you.
ComLink understands things happen. Sometimes you become ill. Sometimes you take a holiday. Sometimes your needs change and force you into hospital. And that’s ok. You have the option of taking a leave of absence in your Home Care Package without being penalised in anyway.
You just need to let ComLink know immediately so we can postpone your services and advise you of the associated process for taking leave from your package.
While you own the Home Care Package, ComLink will assign you your very own Case Manager to help manage the package. Your Case Manager will liaise with you frequently to ensure your most current needs are addressed at all times and the Home Care Package is having a positive impact on your independence and ability to remain living in your home.
Your Case Manager will ensure your Care Plan is always up to date, your individual needs are always met and you are continuously consulted and informed about potential options and services that will be of benefit to you.
At any point, for any reason, you can contact ComLink and your Case Manager will be available to you.
Unspent funds are all funds within your Home Care Package that you have not yet allocated to a service. ComLink guarantees all unspent funds within your Home Care Package will roll over each month, allowing you to accumulate these funds to spend on contingency items should you need to.
ComLink is committed to ensuring you know exactly how the money in your Home Care Package is being spent by providing you with a monthly statement.
The monthly statement will clearly show you all agreed charges to your Home Care Package and any unspent funds you are accumulating.
The Australian Government strongly encourages all recipients of a Home Care Package make their own financial contribution to the Home Care Package. This is known as the Basic Daily Fee (BDF).
The BDF is capped at 17.5% of the single person rate of the basic aged pension and calculated daily. This equates to approximately $10.10 each day and increases slightly as the aged pension increases each March and September.
If for any reason you face financial hardship and cannot pay the full 17.5%, ComLink is more than willing to discuss options to negotiate a lower rate more suitable to your financial capabilities. Simply ask ComLink how we can assist you to contribute to your package without compromising your financial security.
The Government has provided additional funding opportunities for specific circumstances where you may need additional support to remain living in your own home independently. This additional funding is known as supplements.
The type of supplements available upon approval include:
- Dementia and Cognition supplement
- Veterans Supplement
- Oxygen Supplement
- Enteral Feeding Supplement
- Viability Supplement
- Hardship Supplement
ComLink is very experienced in the eligibility criteria to receive additional supplements in a Home Care Package and will speak with you about the possibilities as required.
Your Home Care Package is funded by the Australian Government and consists of:
- The Government Subsidy (depending on the approved level of the package)
- Any eligible supplements
- The Basic Daily Fee (BDF)
- Any additional amounts you have agreed to pay for extra services not covered in your package
You will have full control over how your Home Care Package budget is spent. While ComLink is here to assist you in your decision making, we will always honour your right to make decisions suitable to you and your individual needs.
Part of your Home Care Package with ComLink includes a detailed Care Plan specific to you and your identified needs.
Your care plan is the foundation for the care services you receive, detailing the type of service, the reason for the service, the desired outcomes of the service and any specific instruction for the service to best meet your needs.
ComLink considers the care plan to be a living document, meaning it will be ever evolving as your goals are met and your care needs change. Your care plan is unique to you and your needs.
The Home Care Agreement is a written document defining the agreed terms and conditions of the Home Care Package, including your Care Plan and budget.
The Home Care Agreement is a legally binding document and will be clearly explained to you by ComLink.
As the recipient of a Home Care Package, you are not legally required to sign a Home Care Agreement, however, ComLink will need some form of written communication stipulating the terms and conditions of the services and fee schedule for the services you receive, before the commencement of services.
Once you have been allocated a Home Care Package, you will be sent a letter from the Australian Government (My Aged Care) with the referral code on it. Simply give ComLink a call on 1300 761 011 and we will help get you started on your Home Care Package journey.
- STEP 1: Call ComLink on 1300 761 011 to inform us you have been allocated a Home Care Package and received the letter stating your referral code in the mail.
- STEP 2: ComLink will arrange a time to come to your home to meet with you to discuss your care needs and the options available to you. We call this appointment the “Initial Meeting.” Feel free to invite your family or carer to be there too, we would love to meet them also.
- STEP 3: During the initial meeting, we will discuss your care needs in detail, provide you with information about the services ComLink can offer you and begin developing a care plan that promotes wellness and supports your desire to remain living in your own home.
- STEP 4: ComLink will arrange to come to your home to meet with you a couple of days later to present your Care Plan and Home Care Package Agreement. You will be encouraged to make as many changes as required to ensure the Care Plan meets your needs.
- STEP 5: ComLink will then confirm the start date of your care services and implement the schedule of services to be delivered to you.
The letter you receive from the Australian Government (My Aged Care) confirming you have been allocated a Home Care Package will have a referral code. This code is your “key” to getting started on your Home Care Package. However, you only have 56 days from the date your package has been allocated to you to contact ComLink and notify us of your referral code.
Your referral code will be used by ComLink to activate your Home Care Package.
Once you have been assessed and approved for a Home Care Package, you will:
- Receive a letter from My Aged Care that details the level of Home Care Package you have been approved for. This will either be level 1, 2, 3 or 4.
- Your name and Home Care Package details will be placed in the National Queue. Your place in the queue will be determined by your priority for care and the length of time you have waited for a Home Care Package.
When a Home Care Package becomes available based on your position in the National Queue, you will receive another letter from My Aged Care to advise you have been allocated a Home Care Package. This letter will have a referral code on it.
My Aged Care will conduct an initial telephone screening assessment with you, ask you a few questions about your current living arrangements, your health condition and your current support network, to determine the level of assistance you would benefit from most.
You will then be referred to the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). ACAT will make an appointment to visit you in your own home and ComLink strongly encourage you to have a family member or someone you trust also present at this appointment, particularly if you need help answering some questions or explaining your situation. ComLink is highly experienced in this process and we are more than happy to make ourselves available to be there for you during the ACAT assessment should you choose so.
ACAT will assess your current health condition, your living arrangements and your support network and based on the information you provide, you may be deemed eligible for a Home Care Package.
In order for you to access a Home Care Package, you must first be registered and assessed by the Australian Government’s centralised contact centre, My Aged Care (MAC).
My Aged Care is a national online and telephone service to help determine what Aged Care services you may be eligible to receive, to improve your wellbeing and help you maintain a level of independence.
At ComLink, we appreciate making contact with My Aged Care can be a daunting process, especially when you aren’t sure what type of assistance you may need. But we are here to help you! Simply give ComLink a call on 1300 761 011 and we will make contact with My Aged Care on your behalf.
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