Thinking about getting a Home Care Package?

Aged Care November 5, 2019

As a flexible, affordable way to find and engage independent support workers, Mable is a great option for someone with a Home Care Package. But how do you know when you might be ready to apply for one? For those who may be looking for a little help – but not sure they’re quite ready for aged care, we take a look at signals it could be time to apply for a Home Care Package.

A Home Care Package is a fixed amount of funds that are provided to someone 65 or older to access services that are designed to support them to continue living independently. The level of package is determined by the level of need and is assessed during a Home Care Package Assessment. If you’d like to learn more about this process, you can read our article here. But if you’re not even sure that you’re ready for an assessment, here are some things to keep in mind.

Do you need help with the daily tasks of living?

The government’s My Aged Care website features a list of some of the regular activities of daily living that you might need support with through a Home Care Package. Support is listed in three categories; tasks that keep me well and independent, services that keep me safe at home and services that allow me to interact with my community.

The things that keep you well and independent might include personal care like help with showering, nursing or allied health services or meal preparation. Those that keep you safe at home could include support with household tasks, or home modifications and maintenance to keep you living safely and independent. Support to interact with community might include transport or assistance while you’re out and about.

How much support is needed?

People who are eligible for a Home Care Package would generally require coordinated support in a number of these areas – like support with many everyday tasks. They might also be eligible if support is complex or intensive for any of these tasks.

If your support needs are not as complex, you might be referred to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). Although it has similar objectives to Home Care Packages, the CHSP is designed to provide subsidised access to smaller amounts of a single service like community transport or meals. Third Age Matters has created a great article outlining differences in the CHSP and Home Care Package and the financial implications of progressing from the former to the latter.

The good thing is, you don’t need to decide by yourself. When you contact My Aged Care at myagedcare.gov.au, or by calling 1800 200 422, you will undergo a quick assessment over the phone. The call is also designed to assess your needs to determine the level of support you might need.

A long waiting list

If you think that you may require a Home Care Package, we recommend that you apply as soon as possible. Even if you are found to be eligible for a Home Case Package, it is likely that you will be placed on a waiting list. 
The latest data suggests that the average waiting time for the Home Care Package is around 12 months, with approximately 130,000 Australians on the waiting list, so it is important to find out if you are eligble, and apply as soon as you can.

Looking for help in the meantime?

Mable is an online platform that enables you to find and engage independent support workers from within your local community. Support includes personal care from experienced aged care professionals and nurses – but also people in your neighbourhood providing social and domestic assistance. That means help with the housework, preparation of meals, gardening, even someone to do the shopping for you. You search for independent support workers based on their personal profiles and engage them for as little or as long as you want. It’s flexible, so whether you engage someone for a couple of hours a week or a little every day, it’s up to you. If you are placed on the waiting list for a Home Care Package, you can start using Mable privately while waiting for your package to come through. Once your package is allocated you can continue to use the same support workers that you used previously.

Search the profiles of independent support workers in your area to see what help is on offer.