Funds can be spent on most things that relates to your care and wellbeing. The list is endless – you have flexibility and choice – so be creative and persistent in getting what you want. Services need to fit within your package budget and be listed in your care plan. If you can afford to, you can pay for some extra things out of your personal funds.
There are some examples of things that people can buy:
|Common spending items||Individualised and flexible spending items|
|Personal care – showering, dressing, continence management||Podiatry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy counselling, speech therapy, some vision aids, companion pet|
|Home care – cleaning of house (essential areas), laundry, making beds||Professional laundering, spring cleaning, therapeutic bed mattress|
|Shopping assistance||Internet access, iPad, computer equipment, hands-free speaker phone|
|Transport to appointments, such as medical or even hairdresser (escorted by a care worker)||Taxi vouchers to use to get around without a worker needing to be present|
|Meal preparation||Basic cooking classes, meal delivery, diabetic magazine subscription|
|Basic garden and lawn maintenance||Making raised garden beds, purchase or hire of some equipment and paying towards some modifications at home|
|In-home respite care||Personal support during travelling or whilst visiting other locations|
|Medication prompts, personal alarm monitoring||Worker to help create photo memory books, go for a stroll in the park, out for coffee, walk the dog|
|Social activities and programs||Exercise programs and classes (such as hydrotherapy, yoga, massage, gym, personal trainer, treadmill, etc)|
Yes, some things are excluded. The package won’t pay for:
It depends – and you are not locked in to purchasing hours of care. Your package gives you a specific amount of funding. Some of this money will go towards your Provider’s administrative and case management charges. The rest of your funding can be spent on services that support your independence, health and wellbeing. This can be hours of care or something else, depending on your care needs.
If you do decide to buy hours of care, you can expect to receive approximately the following range of hours of care from your package. Remember, this is not precise, and you can discuss your needs with the provider.
Level 1 approx. 2 hours per week (on average)
Level 2 approx. 3-4 hours per week (on average)
Level 3 approx. 7-9 hours per week (on average)
Level 4 approx. 10-13 hours per week (on average)
There are three main things that will impact on how much you have available to spend on your care and services:
A case manager is a professional adviser who works with you (and your carers or representatives) to link you to the services and other resources that you want. Your case manager advises and supports you to:
Case management includes things like assessment, care planning, service coordination, managing budgets and reviewing how everything is going. You and your provider usually choose how much case management support you need and can adjust your budget accordingly.
Case managers sometimes have another title such as care manager, adviser, care facilitator, care coordinator etc.
When you start a Home Care Package, you and your provider make an agreement that outlines the services you will receive. The agreement describes your rights and the provider’s rights. It will also refer to other documents like your budget and agreed care plan. Home Care Agreements are legally binding.
Only an approved Home Care Package provider can host a Home Care Package. Approved providers have satisfied the Department of Health’s legal and social requirements to administer packages on behalf of consumers.
A service provider is any company that delivers the actual service or hours of care, such as direct care services, gardening, podiatry, home cleaning, personal care etc.
Some Home Care Package providers are also service providers as they employ their own direct care staff. It is expected that all providers are able to buy direct care and other services from external service providers as well.
From February 2017, people with Home Care Packages will be able to change providers, taking their package funding with them to the new provider. If you’re happy with the services you’re getting, you don’t need to do anything, but if you want to change, you can. Changing providers will be easiest if you are moving to another area or looking for a better fit.
Before you decide to change, check your Home Care Agreement for any fees or special conditions. Providers are allowed to charge an exit fee, which must be mentioned in your Home Care Agreement.