Being allocated a home care package can help you be more healthy, happy, and independent, but only if you know what your home care package funds can be used for. There are a wide range of care services that can help you keep healthy, safe, independent, and connected with your community. But there are also some services that the Australian Government has specifically excluded from home care plans. In this guide, we’ll cover which services home care package funds are most commonly used for, as well as which services are excluded.
Services to keep you healthy and independent
You can use your home care package to fund a range of different services that help you remain healthy and independent in your own home. These services include personal care, nursing services, allied health and therapy services, food and nutrition, as well as specialised support.
Personal care services often involve help with daily personal hygiene and grooming, such as assistance bathing, toileting, washing and drying hair, shaving, and dressing. Personal care can also involve assistance getting in and out of bed or reminders to take your medication.
Nursing services include simple assistance with medication or general health assessments, as well as wound management and certain medical tests. Allied health and therapy services can also be used, including speech therapy, podiatry, physiotherapy, and other clinical services. Specialised services, such as those that specialise in dementia, continence aids, or vision and hearing support are also available.
You can also get help with meal preparation, help with eating, or even meal delivery services. However, home care package funds can not be used for the individual raw ingredient component of meals, and are instead used to pay for their preparation and delivery. For example, Lite n’ Easy has calculated that their meal delivery service has only a 30% raw ingredient cost, meaning you can pay for 70% of the cost of these meals using your home care package funds.
Services to keep you safe in your home
There are a range of care services you can receive that will help you stay safe in your home. This includes services focused on cleaning and home maintenance, assisted moving equipment, and even minor home modifications.
Cleaning services can include making beds, ironing and laundry, and help with any dusting, vacuuming and mopping. You can use services that help you maintain your home and keep you safe, and also access some basic gardening services such as mowing, pruning, weeding, and clearing debris.
You can use your home care package funds to purchase aids to assist with your movement, such as walking frames, crutches, or bed rails. This can also include equipment to help with your comfort, such as slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows, and pressure-relieving mattresses.
Minor home modifications which address your care needs can be paid for using available home care package funds. This is usually modifications which help you to continue moving around your own home and remaining independent, such as easy access taps, grab rails, and ramps.
Services to keep you connected to your community
You can use your home care package funds to keep connected with your community, ensuring you can visit the specialists and support services that meet your care needs. This can include basic transport services, as well as social support services to help you connect with the public.
Transport services can include basic transportation to care services that meet your care plan needs, through cab charges or specialist transport vehicles for those using assistive technology. It can also include assistance with shopping, attending social activities, or visiting health practitioners.
Social support services can help you with these services, such as a companion to join you at appointments or help with shopping. You can also receive help with setting up phone and internet services, arrange a visitor to make in-home social calls, or even arrange some various social activities and events.
What services are excluded?
The Australian Government regulates home care package providers to ensure that specific items and services are not covered in care plans. Your home care package funds can only be used on items which address your care needs, and are not subsidised through other government programs. Some of the excluded services are:
- General expenses that would normally be purchased with general income
- Raw food and ingredients, apart from enteral feeding requirements
- Payments for permanent accommodation such as mortgage or rent
- Home modifications or assets that are not related to your care needs
- Entertainment activities such as club memberships, sporting events, or gambling
- Travel and accommodation outside your area of living
- Anything that can be funded either jointly or completely by another government service or private health insurance
Check out our comprehensive guide on home care package inclusions and exclusions for more information. We’ve also covered some of the common enquiries about what home care package funds can be used for in our frequently asked questions.
Where do I find aged care services?
If you are using a fully managed home care package provider, your provider will organise these services for you. Unfortunately, that means you will often receive services you don’t particularly want, while missing out on others that would better suit your unique situation and help you live happily and independently at home. You’ll also not be able to organise these services at a time, place, and from carers that work best for you.
If you choose to self-manage your home care package, you will have the freedom to choose your own services, from the carers you trust, when and where it suits you. Trilogy Care has partnered with Mable, an online carer marketplace to help you find carers in your area. Simply enter your postcode, and filter by the services, qualifications, and experience levels that work best for you! You can start organising your carers beforehand to prepare for when your home care package starts.
Mable isn’t the only online carer marketplace that you can use if you choose to self-manage with Trilogy Care. As long as they have the necessary qualifications and requirements, anyone can be a carer! All the carers listed on Mable have these necessary qualifications, but you can also use Find a Carer, Care Seekers, Nurse Next Door, or Like Family.
Before you start planning which services you will use, make sure you know the difference between self-managed and fully managed home care packages, and understand how many hours of care you can expect from each home care package level.