A recent report by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) shows that unspent home care funds in Australia run to over $200 million. LASA has suggested directing this funding back into the system to meet a shortfall of over 100,000 Home Care Packages.
It may be that some home care package funding isn’t being spent because recipients aren’t aware of how much funding they have. It’s also possible that some recipients don’t know what they are able to spend their Home Care Package funding on.
While this is ultimately something you agree with your Approved Provider and set out in your care plan, you have a lot more choice and scope than you may realise when it comes to accessing home care services with your funding.
The Australian Government’s My Aged Care site provides a good overview of services. But we’ve dug a bit deeper to find the full list of home care services provided in the Quality of Care Principles 2014 on the Federal Register of Legislation website, Schedule 3 – Care and services for home care services.
Here are some services you may not have known about:
|Personal services||As well as help with bathing, showering, toileting and mobility, you can also get assistance to get in and out of bed.
|Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet||Services here include meals, diet, eating and feeding (if necessary). You can also request enteral feeding formula and equipment.
|Activities of daily living||This category isn’t listed at all on My Aged Care. You’re entitled to support with communication if you have difficulties with hearing, sight or speech, or don’t speak the language. This includes help with hearing and other sensory communication aids, and using the telephone.
|Transport and personal assistance||There’s a lot covered here for you to get day to day support around the house to remain at home independently. You can hire a worker to:
• Clean the house and do laundry
• Do home and garden maintenance
• Manage your medications
• Providing counselling or psychology
• Provide transport
• Coordinate your social activities
|Leisure, interests and activities||If you need encouragement to get out and about, you’re entitled to some support.
There are also package supplements available for specific care needs:
The Dementia and Cognition Supplement provides 10% additional funding for home care recipients with “moderate to severe levels of cognitive impairment associated with dementia or other conditions.“ This is available with any of the four levels of Home Care Packages.
The Veterans’ Supplement provides 10% additional funding, also on top of the Home Care Package, for veterans with a mental health condition related to their service.
Your guide to home care package services is available in 18 languages on the My Aged Care site. You can also download Your pathway to accessing a home care package if you’re just starting on the journey.
Mable’s Approved Provider partners can host your funding and allow you to use it to engage workers through Mable. Find out more.