Understanding Different Home Care Packages Levels: A Comprehensive Guide to HCP Services 

home care packages

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If you or your loved one has reached an age where they need more care and support to live a comfortable life at home, now is the time to learn and explore home care and its packages.  

One of the ways to provide affordable care and support services is through Home Care Packages (HCP). HCPs provide elderly Australians with the additional support they need so that they can remain in their homes for a longer period of time. 

Home care assistance is an important factor in assisting older Australians to stay at home and be independent for a longer period of time. Receiving assistance at home can delay or, in some cases, prevent the need to join a residential care facility. 

To help make home care assistance programs more affordable, the Australian Government offers a variety of subsidies. Home Care Packages (HCP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) are the two main government-funded home care assistance programmes available in Australia. 

Before we go further, let’s first look into what home care packages are and what services they Include.  

 

What are Home Care Packages? 

A service that allows elder people to stay in their own houses with proper household, medical and nursing support is Home Care. A home care package provided by the Australian Government enables older Australians to obtain affordable care services while remaining at home. 

In the Home Care Packages, the government subsidise a predetermined amount of money for care services based on your level of care need. These funds are then transferred to your preferred approved provider. You and the provider can work together to decide how to spend the money in the best possible way by coordinating the services you need. 

The services you can receive as part of the package vary depending on the level of care you are assessed for. From basic necessities to high-level care requirements, these packages cover everything. Your home care provider will collaborate with you to determine the best way to spend your Package funding for the type of care services you require. 

The Home Care Package provides consumer-directed care that is tailored to individual needs and goals. This indicates that you have a choice and control over the services you receive, who provides them, and how and when they are delivered. 

 

What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)? 

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) is an entry-level home support program designed particularly for elderly Australians who have difficulty performing everyday tasks and could benefit from a little support. The main objective of this program is to ensure your needs are met with the right amount of support also while assisting you in maintaining your independence. Not only that, the CHSP helps individuals to stay socially active and connected to their community, along with supporting independence and keeping you safe in your own home.

If eligibility criteria are met, community respite is also provided under the CHSP. Community respite is available during the day, overnight, or on weekends for those who require occasional carer assistance with some of their daily tasks and activities. The CHSP supports your relationship with your carer by allowing carers to take a break from their usual duties through a variety of planned respite services

 

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What are the services included in home care packages? 

With a variety of services provided by each level of the Home Care Package, you can choose to spend the money the way you want based on your specific care needs. 

 

Nursing and Medical Care 

A skilled provider who visits your home on a regular basis is included in the majority of Home Care Package levels. A nurse can assist you with medication management, skin and wound care, or ongoing care for a chronic condition such as vision loss or diabetes. Also, you can get visits from specialists like a podiatrist or occupational therapists. You may also require assistance if you suffer from a medical condition such as dementia or memory loss. Your Home Care Package includes all of these healthcare services.

 

Personal Hygiene 

If your motor skills are deteriorating, you can seek assistance with personal care and hygiene. Showering and personal grooming assistance can be included in your package. You can also get assistance with eating, such as meal preparation and the use of eating utensils.  

Many seniors have family members who assist them with personal care before they receive any Home Care Packages. Even if your family wishes to continue providing personal care and companionship to you, they will require a break from time to time, and your funding can be used to provide respite care. A temporary carer will replace your usual companion for a short period of time so they can go on vacation or have more time to attend to other needs. If you require extensive, ongoing care that your family is unable to provide, full-time live-in care can be included, providing you with all the benefits of residential care in the comfort of your own home. 

 

Home Maintenance 

Your comfort and safety in your home environment are important your funding can assist with this as well. Cleaning and gardening are some of the basic chores that are included in home maintenance, which can also be covered by your Home Care Package. You can also use the subsidy to make improvements and modifications to your home that are required to keep it safe and accessible (such as adding ramps if you need a wheelchair). You can even buy accessibility equipment like a shower chair. 

 

Social Care 

Funding for services that lets you stay active and involved in your community is also covered by the Home Care Packages. If you are unable to drive, your package can include transportation, particularly to necessary activities such as GP visits. You can spend money on social or community activities like community classes or gym memberships. A variety of services with companion care can be included in your home care package, in which one carer visits your home on a regular basis to assist with errands, transportation, social activities, and light housework. 

 

Government-Supported Home Care Package programs

As we mentioned earlier there are two main types of government-funded aged care support programs. These are:-

 

Type 1: Entry Level In-Home Care and Support 

The first is a basic in-home support programme that provides ongoing or short-term care and support through the Commonwealth Home Support Program. 

This level of assistance includes: 

  • Planned respite 
  • Assistance with housework 
  • Personal hygiene 
  • Food preparation and meals 
  • Transport 
  • Shopping 
  • Allied health care 
  • Social assistance 

 

Type 2: In-Home Complex Care and Support 

The following is a more complex in-home care and support program with four levels of care provided by the government-funded Home Care Package (HCP) Program. 

 

Level 1 Home Care Package 

A Level 1 Home Care Package is intended to assist people with basic care needs. The annual funding for this level of package is $9,179.75. 

Level 1 Package participants are still self-sufficient and can complete most daily tasks on their own. This Home Care Package recipients frequently use the following services: 

  • Domestic support 
  • Social assistance 
  • Meal planning 
  • Shopping 
  • Transport 
  • Personal hygiene 

A Level 1 Home Care Package will provide you with approximately 2-3 hours of support per week, depending on the fees of your specific provider. Most customers we speak with use this for weekly house cleaning and fortnightly or monthly gardening duties. 

 

Level 2 Home Care Package (HCP)

A Level 2 Home Care Package is designed to assist people with low-level care needs. The annual funding for people with a Level 2 Home Care Package is $16,147.60.

Those with a Level 2 Home Care Package require some assistance but can still perform many household tasks on their own. A Level 2 Home Care Package can be used for the following services (among many others): 

  • Personal hygiene 
  • Domestic support 
  • Loan for basic medical supplies 
  • Social assistance 
  • Meal planning 
  • Shopping 
  • Transport 
  • Basic home and garden care 
  • Some nursing assistance 

This amount of funding will provide you with approximately 4-5 hours of care and support per week, depending on the fees of your specific provider. The majority of customers we speak with use this for personal care, household cleaning, transportation, and gardening. 

 

Level 3 Home Care Package (HCP)

A Level 3 Home Care Package assists people who have intermediate-level care needs and require significantly more assistance than Levels 1 and 2 in order to remain safely at home. 

With a Level 3, you’ll receive $35,138.55 per year for Home Care and may be able to access the following: 

  • Personal hygiene 
  • Domestic support 
  • Help with household chores 
  • Help with aids and appliance 
  • Social assistance 
  • Meal planning 
  • Medication administration 
  • Nursing assistance 
  • Allied health assistance 
  • Shopping 
  • Transport 
  • Help with memory and behaviour changes 

A Level 3 Home Care Package will provide you with 9-10 hours of support per week, depending on the fees charged by your provider. Usually, Individuals with a Level 3 Package have more access to personal care, nursing, or allied health support than those with lower-level packages.

 

Level 4 Home Care Package (HCP)

A Level 4 Home Care Package is intended to assist individuals who require a high level of care. This package will provide you with $53,268.10 in funding per year. This equates to 14-15 hours of care per week, depending on your provider’s fees. 

If you or a loved one requires complex or high-level care, you may be eligible for financial assistance with:

  • Personal hygiene (showering/dressing, for example) 
  • Domestic help (laundry, cleaning, etc.) 
  • Help with aids and appliances 
  • Social assistance 
  • Meal planning 
  • Medication administration 
  • Nursing assistance Allied h
  • Health assistance 
  • Shopping 
  • Transport 
  • Help with memory or behaviour changes 

People with dementia or Parkinson’s disease are frequently assigned Level 4 Packages. These conditions necessitate a great deal of attention, as well as attention from support workers who specialise in these complex areas. 

 

What makes you eligible for the CHSP instead of a Home Care Package? 

While the CHSP provides entry-level support services, Home Care Packages are designed to meet more complex needs. 

The CHSP is designed for people who can mostly live at home and only need a small amount of assistance to maintain their independence. The majority of people who use the CSHP only use one or two services to help them live safely and independently at home. Depending on the need, these services can be temporary or ongoing. 

While the services available for both the CHSP and Home Care Packages are similar, a Home Care Package would be more appropriate if your needs are more complex and the services you require need to be coordinated and tailored to meet your specific needs, as the CHSP may not be able to accommodate this. 

You must be 65 or older to be eligible for both the CHSP and a Home Care Package (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people). 

An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) member conducts a face-to-face assessment to determine your care needs and eligibility. 

 

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What Kinds of Services Are Excluded from Home Care Packages? 

Although you have options when it comes to selecting the services you require and the provider you prefer, some services are not covered by your Home Care Package. In general, anything you would normally buy with your own money does not qualify for funding. As a result, your grocery purchases are not included (but special food purchases for enteral feeding requirements are included). Making your mortgage or rent payment does not qualify (but home modifications that are necessary for accessibility likely do). Club memberships and event tickets are not eligible for funding, but activities that help you stay connected in your community might be. Vacations are not permitted, but a health-related retreat may be included. 

 

Conclusion 

We hope we are able to help you with this article, as navigating the world of home care packages is a difficult task to do. Please keep in mind that these are only general guidelines; to determine which package is best for you, contact your local aged care service provider. 

You can take your time when choosing a home care package; it’s a big decision that should be made with as much knowledge as possible. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance, whether from family, friends, or professionals. 

We hope you found this article informative. If you have any further questions or need assistance selecting the best package for your loved one, please contact us – we’re here to help. 

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