Simple Steps to Accessing a Home Care Package
As you get older, the need to access aged care support services may arise. There’s aged care government-funded services that you could access if you’re eligible. Accessing a home care package gives you the opportunity to receive aged care services while remaining in the comfort of your own home. Although this type of care isn’t suitable for everyone, many older Australians are able to access in-home care services. Read on for a simplified, step-by-step guide to accessing a package.
Make a call to My Aged Care
To commence the process of accessing a home care package you’ll initially need to get in contact with My Aged Care. You can free call them on 1800 200 422. They’re the first point of call when looking into accessing government-subsidised aged care support services
When you contact My Aged Care, you’ll need to request an aged care assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They’ll then get back to you to arrange a meeting with the ACAT to determine your eligibility for aged care services, and what support you need, based on your current circumstances. You can read all about the ACAT assessment process here.
Wait for Your Letter of Approval
Next, you’ll need to wait to receive a letter in the mail, stating the services that you’re approved for. If you’re approved for a home care package, the letter will include the level of a home care package that you’re approved for. This will be either a level 1, 2, 3, or 4 home care package.
It’s really important to mention that receiving approval for a home care package doesn’t mean that you can immediately access your home care package. First, you’ll automatically get placed in a national queue (waiting list) for a home care package. When a package becomes available you’ll get a letter in the mail, assigning you a home care package.
Find a Provider to Manage Your Home Care Package
Once you’ve been assigned a home care package, you’ll need to choose a home care package provider to manage the package and coordinate services.
To find a service provider and see what services they offer, get in touch with My Aged Care or navigate through their service provider list online.
It’s important at this point to mention that some people choose to self-manage a their home care package. However, they still need to choose a home care package provider that’ll allow them to self-manage their package. For further information on self-management in-home care packages, COTA for older Australians offers a great guide and resources.
Make a List of Your Care Needs and Goals
Once you’ve been assigned a home care package level 1, 2, 3, or 4, you’ll have 56 days to choose a provider and enter into a home care agreement with them.
The first step is to arrange a meeting with as many providers as you choose to before making a decision on who you want to enter a home care agreement with. To help you choose a provider, it’s a good idea to make a list of items that you’d like to discuss.
Also, be sure to ask for a copy of their fee schedule. Aged care fees charged by providers often vary greatly between different providers.
Plan Your Home Care Package
Once you’ve chosen a provider, it’s advisable to seek legal advice before entering into an agreement.
You’ll now meet with your chosen provider’s home care package coordinator. Together, you’ll put together a care plan, based on your care needs and goals. Typically, the home care package manager will also ask you to sign a home care agreement at the same meeting.
Also, keep in mind that you can have your care plan reviewed at any time that you need to.
Final Thoughts on Accessing a Home Care Package
Entering into a home care package is a viable option for ageing Australians requiring aged care support services. Keep in mind though that there’s a waiting period to access these services. If you need to access aged care support services immediately, make sure you mention this when you speak with My Aged Care.