Maximising Your Aged Care Package: What Can You Spend It On?
Maximising Your Aged Care Package: What Can You Spend It On?
Everyone deserves to age comfortably and receive the support they need to do so. The Australian Government provides subsidised home care packages, which is funding that can be utilised by those who are 65 or over and are still living independently in their own homes. This funding can be used to provide extra support, depending on the individual needs and level of care required.
We understand that navigating the world of aged care can be overwhelming, but with the right knowledge, you can maximise the benefits and ensure the highest quality of life for yourself or
your elderly loved one.
What is a Home Care Package?
A home care package is a comprehensive set of care and services designed to support your independent living in your own home for as long as possible. Individuals may access services after undergoing an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) for a Home Care Package, or with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) for services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
The advantage of a home care package lies in the collaboration between you and your home care provider (i.e. St Jude’s), allowing you to:
Select care and services that align with your specific needs and goals.
Effectively manage your care and services.
Home care packages are categorised into four levels to cater to different levels of care requirements and independence. During your aged care assessment, the assessor will engage in discussions about your current care needs and determine the most suitable level to address them.
What are the Different Levels of Home Care Packages Available?
The Australian Government provides subsidies for each home care package level as outlined below:
Package Level 1: Supports individuals with basic care needs. This level allows for around 2-3 hours of weekly care services.
Package Level 2: Intended for those with low-level care needs. This provides around 4-5 weekly hours of care services.
Package Level 3: Geared towards individuals with intermediate care needs. This will allow for 9-10 hours per week of in-home care services.
Package Level 4: Targeted at individuals with high-level care needs. This level will provide participants with up to 14 hours of weekly care services.
What Services Can Home Care Package Funds Be Used For?
One of the most common questions among those eligible for home aged care packages is, ‘What can I spend my aged care package on?’ The answer is that these funds can be used for a wide range of services and support to enhance your quality of life at home. Here’s a detailed breakdown of eligible services:
Personal Care Services and Assistance
Personal care services such as assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, and mobility can be covered by your aged care package. These services are key to maintaining your overall well-being, and with the assistance of a trained support professional instead of a family member or friend, allow for dignity and privacy to be upheld.
Transport and Social Activities
Staying socially engaged is essential for mental and emotional well-being. You can use your aged care package funds for transport to aid with shopping, driving to healthcare appointments, and participating in social engagements and family events. Sustaining your access to the community is crucial to keeping independence with the reassurance of a helping hand to accompany you.
Nursing and Allied Health Care
For those with specific medical needs, home care package funds can be allocated to nursing and health care. This may involve professional services like speech therapy, podiatry, occupational therapy or physiotherapy, as well as clinical services for hearing and vision care. Nursing care can encompass wound care, medication management, clinical assessments, and ongoing care to supervise your at-home medical requirements. Additionally, if you need temporary care after an accident, in-home nursing services will support you in your recovery process.
Nutrition and Meal Preparation
Proper nutrition is a fundamental aspect of healthy aging. Support with preparing meals can include catering to specific dietary requirements for health, religious, cultural, or other considerations, assistance with utensil usage, and support with eating.
Aiding with the utilisation of continence aids and devices, including disposable pads, absorbent aids, commode chairs, bedpans, urinals, catheters, urinary drainage devices, and enemas.
Maintaining Skin Integrity
As individuals age, their skin tends to become increasingly fragile, making it more susceptible to dryness, abrasions, wounds, and bruising. To help maintain skin health, home care funds can be used for support with bandages, dressings, and skin moisturisers to ensure skin tears or wounds are kept clean and able to heal.
Transitioning from Home Care to Residential Aged Care
As your needs change over time, you may find that transitioning from home care to residential aged care becomes necessary. Several factors can lead to this transition, such as increased care needs or a desire for a higher level of support. At St Judes, we’re here to assist you every step of the way.
Factors That May Necessitate a Transition into a Residential Aged Care Home
Increased care needs: If your health deteriorates, and you require around-the-clock care or specialised medical attention, residential aged care may be the best option.
Isolation: If you feel lonely or isolated at home and desire more social interaction, a residential aged care facility can provide a vibrant community environment.
Safety concerns: If your home environment is no longer safe due to mobility issues or the inability to manage daily tasks, residential aged care can offer a secure and supportive setting.
How St Judes Can Assist with Aged Care Support
As a provider of quality home care services, we can help individuals maximise their home care packages so they receive the support they need to live independently and with dignity.
As individuals age, their requirements may evolve. Therefore, we prioritise flexibility and personalisation in our support options and ensure that our clients are well-informed throughout their journey.
Tailored Home Care Support
Your care plan is the roadmap to your well-being. It outlines your specific care goals, preferences, and needs. We take the time to listen to you and your family, understanding your goals and concerns. Our experienced home care professionals then work collaboratively with you to design a home care plan that addresses your physical, emotional, and social needs.
This personalised approach ensures that you receive the care and support that aligns with your unique circumstances and goals, whilst enabling you to still remain in your own home.
Transition to Residential Aged Care
If you or your loved one is ready to move into an aged care home, we are here to make the transition as smooth as possible. We are proud have state of the art aged care facilities in WA, and QLD. Our purpose built facilities cater to various needs, including dementia. They both offer a full suite of premium services for those who are no longer able to live independently in their own homes.
Ensuring Continuity of Care and Support
Our team at St Jude’s is experienced in managing transitions from home care to residential aged care. We work closely with you and your family to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition. This includes assessing your care needs, finding the right residential facility, and coordinating the logistics of the move.
We understand that continuity of care is essential during a transition. You can trust St Jude’s to ensure that your personalised care plan is seamlessly transferred to your new residential aged care setting, guaranteeing that you receive the same level of quality care and support you’re accustomed to.
Flexibility to Adapt Services as Needs Change
Aging is a dynamic process, and your care needs may evolve over time. St Jude’s offers flexibility in adapting your care plan to accommodate these changes. Whether you require greater or fewer support services, we’re here to adjust and provide you with the care that best suits your current situation.
Frequently Asked Questions – Home Care Packages
To provide further clarity on aged care package spending, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
1. How do I apply for a home aged care package?
To access government-subsidised home care services, you need to go through an assessment process by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They will determine your eligibility and the level of care you require.
2. Can I choose my own home care provider?
Yes, you have the freedom to choose your preferred aged home care provider, including St Jude’s, once you receive your home care package approval. We’ll work with you to create a tailored care plan that aligns with your goals and needs.
3. How often can I review my care plan?
Your care plan should be regularly reviewed to ensure it continues to meet your changing needs. At St Jude’s, we conduct thorough reviews with you to make necessary adjustments and improvements to your care plan.
Enhance Your Aging Journey with the Right Support
Your aged care package funds are a valuable resource to enhance your quality of life as you age. At St Jude’s, we’re dedicated to helping you make the most of these funds and ensuring that you receive personalised, high-quality care that aligns with your unique needs and preferences.
If you have any questions or would like guidance on your aged care journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to support you every step of the way.