A lot of senior Australians are eligible for a Home Care Package (HCP), however they do not know how to get one. The HCP program is designed to assist older Australians with staying healthy, independent, and safe in their own home. Receiving and starting a home care package can be a lengthy process, so it’s best to start this process as early as possible by following these simple steps from our guide below.
Check your eligibility
My Aged Care states that to be eligible for a package, you must be ‘an older person who needs coordinated services to help stay at home’. Your financial situation won’t affect your eligibility, but may change how much you are asked to contribute to the cost of your care.
You can check your eligibility online through My Aged Care’s eligibility checker tool. Simply answer a few questions about your age and care needs to find if you are eligible. You are likely to be eligible if you have recently been diagnosed with a medical condition or reduced mobility, experienced a recent fall or hospital admission, had a change in family care arrangements, or noticed a change in what you can do or remember.
Have your ACAT assessment
Your ACAT assessment will take place in your home, or over phone or video call. Your assessor will ask you a range of questions to determine the level of care you need. Your assessor will also need your proof of ID, Medicare card, GP referrals, and information from services you already receive. You may wish to have family or friends present during this assessment to help you.
Check out our ACAT assessment guide to learn everything you need to know about ACAT assessments.
Find out your assessment outcome
You will receive an outcome letter within 2-6 weeks of your ACAT assessment, outlining which home care package level you have been assigned, and your priority level for that package. If you are deemed as eligible for a HCP, you will go into the National Priority System and be assigned a package once one becomes available.
You can check a rough estimate of your wait time through the My Aged Care Client Portal. This portal will also indicate which services your ACAT assessor has recommended, and provide a support plan on how you can begin meeting your care needs.
Choose a home care package provider
You don’t need to wait to be allocated a package to begin choosing a home care package provider. A great place to start making a provider list is through My Aged Care’s find a provider tool. You will find a lot of providers in your area with this tool, so you will need to compare providers to make a shortlist.
At this stage, you should be considering whether you will choose a self-managed or fully managed home care package provider. Don’t be afraid to call several approved package providers and ask them a series of questions to get a feel for how they will treat you, the services they offer, and whether they have any hidden costs or fees.
We compared Trilogy Care with four other home care package providers to give you an idea of what to look out for when choosing a provider.
Get prepared to start with a provider
Once you’ve been allocated a Home Care Package, you have 56 days to choose a provider and enter a home care agreement. If you need more time, you can request a 28-day extension by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. Your provider will need a copy of your referral code to get an idea of your specific situation and start forming a care plan which meets these needs.
If you choose to self-manage your home care, you will begin planning your personalised care circle, and choosing the carers you trust at rates you are comfortable paying. Self-management lets you choose the care services you need, when you want, where you want.
You may receive an interim level package while you are waiting to be allocated your home care package. This lower-level package is allocated to allow you to begin getting care services as soon as possible.
Start receiving subsidised care services
Once you have signed your home care agreement you will need to wait for your start date with your provider. After this start date, you will begin receiving subsidised home care services, helping you to stay healthy and independent in your own home.
Remember that home care package funds can only be used on services that meet your care needs. There are some specific inclusions and exclusions, so make sure you know what home care package funds can be used for. Trilogy Care offers a range of services that will help you stay safe, healthy, independent, and connected to the community within your own home.
How do I get a Home Care Package? - the step-by-step guide
To help you through the process of receiving a home care package, we’ve created a handy step-by-step guide. This guide will take you through the entire process, from finding out if you are eligible and having your ACAT assessment, to preparing for and starting your home care package.
You can download a copy of the step-by-step guide by pressing the button below.