What is Home Care and Who is it For?
21 Feb 2017 |
- Home Care
What is Home Care and Who is it For?Whatever a person’s age and health condition, when everyday activities like cooking, cleaning, driving or self-care become a little more difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s time to move to a residential aged care home.
For many people, continuing to live in their own home is what they’d rather do. And it’s more affordable and practical – they just need a little bit of help to make it possible. Professional carers who come to your loved one’s home and help with various things like preparing healthy meals, washing, cleaning and have maintenance solve this dilemma for many families.
Home Care is not like nursing-home care. It’s for people who are still independent and confident with most things, but who need some extra support. For example, someone with poor eyesight could use help with shopping, driving and organising medications. By drawing on this support, many people avoid having to move into residential care at all.
For many, the cost of home care is regarded as a sound investment toward achieving their goal of living at home much longer. You can choose to pay for these services privately through an approved aged care agency or apply for a government-subsidised home care package, under the new system of Consumer Directed Care.
What is a Home Care Package and How Do You Get It?
The Home Care Package Program is one of several major elements in the Australian Government’s aged care support agenda. Its purpose is to help older Australians stay well and independent at home as they age, rather than having to move into residential aged care facilities, or nursing homes.
The term Home Care Package refers to a budget that you can spend on care support. There are four levels of packages available for people aged over 65 years old, ranging from around $8,000 to $50,000 per year. These funds are allocated based on a needs assessment and are to be used for a range of in-home support services; for example shopping, cleaning, personal care and travel assistance to appointments. The purpose is to support elderly people to remain independent and comfortable in their own homes and keep them active in the community for as long as they can.
The federal government will increase the number of home care packages it funds to 100,000 packages by 2018. More people will be able to access in-home care services to support them living at home. To receive a package, the person must satisfy eligibility and needs-based criteria. This help can make a very big difference, so it’s worth finding out more.
Self-Managed or Supported
The changes in government regulations now allow greater opportunity for people to self-manage their package, providing them more choice and control and allowing them to exercise more independence in organising their care support. While this is a great option for some, for others the new competitive marketplace may be difficult to navigate. In this instance, the role of a Care Manager is to simplify the experience for families and their ageing parents and coordinate everything. An independent Care Manager acts as an advisor, taking you through the process and helping select the right service providers for your loved one’s needs. They can also act on behalf of your family to take care of the paperwork or negotiate switching service providers. Many families find an independent care manager helpful because they offer expert advice that serves the best interests of their loved one.
If you would like to learn more about home care packages and how to apply to get funded for one, you can download our full Get Funded Guide here.