Home care packages

We have over 100 years of experience in delivering services. Our agencies have been at the forefront of delivering innovative services to meet the needs of our clients.

We have been a strong advocate for the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) model, believing that no-one knows the needs of a client better than the client themselves. Our role is to help our clients achieve the goals which are important to them.

We also welcome the move to total transparency with clients, as this is something which we were providing long before it was mandated by government.

As not-for-profit providers, we are able to genuinely minimise our costs to clients without having to compromise the quality of service. We have no vested interests with residential accommodation or any Similar services.

Our promise to our clients is to provide the very best level of care possible.

To do this we will:

  • Be totally flexible to meet the individual needs of every client,
  • Provide every client with all possible options,
  • Treat all clients as partners with respect and total transparency,
  • Provide these services in this way at the lowest possible cost, and
  • Never charge the basic fee for all Home Care Packages provided by us.

Our clients receiving in-home supports are able to live independently in their own homes for up to 3 years longer than the national average. This is a fact of which all our staff are deservedly proud.

We hope the information contained in this publication will help you to make the right decisions when it comes to Aged Care.

What is a home care package?

Home Care Package (HCP) is a way for you to enjoy living in your own home for longer. A Home Care Package assists you to manage better in your own home, preventing you from having to go into an aged care home before you're ready.

The Federal Government funds a package which you can use to help you live at home. This can include services like personal care, garden maintenance, cleaning, shopping, transport, exploring and expanding your skills, and more.

Home Care Packages are available to people who are 65 or older, or 50 years and over for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

There are four levels of Home Care Packages which can give you the care and services you need:

Level 1 supports people with basic care needs.

Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs.

Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs.

Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs.

How do I get a home care package? 

  1. Contact MyAgedCare to arrange an assessment
  2. Your situation is assessed by the Federal Government's Aged Care Assessment Service
  3. Choose an agency to deliver your package. Sign a service agreement with them. 
  4. When you choose Uniting, we will begin with a home visit. We get to know you and introduce who we are and our services. We will put together a care plan of your sort and long term needs. 
  5. Based on your needs, goals and level of self direction, you choose how you spend our home care package budget.  

Self funded care

Self-funded care means you fund the care you want, or the care of someone you love. We can help you access the care you need. The support we offer can be one-off, short-term or long-term.

Types of in-home support we can arrange for you include: personal care, meals, transport, pet support, gardening, domestic assistance, nursing, allied health and hospital liaison, overnight stay, respite care and more.
If you wish, we can arrange everything. We can also help plan for future needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a home care package funded?

The money for your Home Care Package (HCP) comes from the Commonwealth Government and is paid to the service provider who you choose to sign your Consumer Directed Care (CDC) service agreement.

You will also be required to complete an assessment with Centrelink before or at the beginning of your Home Care Package. This assessment will determine if you will need to contribute towards the cost of your care. Read more about the income-tested care fee on page 7.

The Government contribution is called a 'subsidy' and is paid monthly to your chosen service provider. The provider is accountable for how the package money is spent; accountable to the government to make sure the money is spent within government guidelines, and accountable to you to make sure the money is spent in the ways you outlined in your plan.

The Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care services in Australia. Any fees and eligibility for subsidy will be discussed and agreed upon with your provider before you receive services. Read more about fees and what you may have to pay.

Care Management and Package Management

Care Management and Package Management are vital components to ensure that you get the most from your Home Care Package. Having our highly skilled staff work with you to plan, monitor and adjust what services you need is important. Their expertise can identify things you may not have considered and options you might not know about.

Again, we give you choice in the amount of Care Management and Package Management which you would like us to provide. You also have the option of using more of your package for additional Case Management hours if you wish.

It is because of our skills in Care Management and Package Management that our clients remain living in their own homes longer than the national average.

What is Consumer Directed Care (CDC)?

CDC is a model of service delivery designed to give more choice and flexibility to consumers. Clients who receive a Home Care Package now have more control over the types of care and services they receive, how the care is delivered and who delivers the care.

CDC aims to empower the individual, giving them more control and choice, while building their capacity through a transparent system. This approach encourages clients to use their imagination when exploring options within government guidelines. To achieve your goals, we can help you explore
your community connections, family relations, community, private resources and more.

After research and consultation, clients identified areas which are important to them: choice, control, capacity building and transparency. These areas are those we also stand for and we provide services and information shaped by these pillars.

Choice and flexibility
You are aware of the choices open to you and you design the supports you want. Including when and how your supports are delivered to you, and who delivers them.

Control
You determine the level of control and assistance you want in directing your own supports. All of your decisions are respected.

Capacity building
You are empowered and supported to take on the level of control of the supports you receive, to which you aspire.

Transparency
You have the information you need to make informed decisions. 

What will I have to pay?

The Australian Government pays the core cost of aged care in Australia, but if you have the capability, you may be asked by Centrelink to contribute towards the cost of your care.

The two fees set by the Australian Government are:

A Basic Daily Fee which can be charged at up to 17.5% of the single age pension.

For all home care packages provided by Uniting, the basic daily fee is not charged.

An Income-Tested Care Fee will apply if you have an income over the threshold. You will not be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you are a full pensioner or have a yearly income below the threshold. The threshold is different depending on your individual circumstances.

Centrelink works out the Income-Tested Care Fee based on an assessment of your financial information. The assessment does not include the value of assets such as your house.

There is a limit to how much you have to pay in Income-Tested Care Fees. For part pensioners, it is around $5,200 per year. For self-funded retirees, it is around $10,400 per year. There is a lifetime limit n Income-Tested Care Fees. This is currently set at around $62,000. Once you have reached this cap you will not have to pay any further income or means tested care fees during your lifetime.

The Australia Government reviews these figures yearly. Please see a copy of our current Funding, Fees & Services schedule for more information.

The Australian Government has created a website and helpline called My Aged Care to assist you My Aged Care can help you estimate the fees and charges you may have to pay towards your Home Care Package.

You can apply for financial hardship assistance if you believe you will have financial difficulty contributing to the cost of your Home Care Package.

What is My Aged Care?

My Aged Care is the entry point for aged care services in Australia.

The My Aged Car website has been established by the Australian Government to help you understand and access the aged care system.

My Aged Care also has a national contact centre. They can provide you with information on aged care, whether for yourself, a family member, friend or someone you're caring for.

You will be able to access any additional information you may need on Aged Care in Australia.

Visit: www.myagedcare.gov.au or call on 1800 200 422 for more information.

Can I choose my own service provider?

As of February 27, 2017, you are able to choose which Service Provider will look after you and your Home Care Package. You can choose any provider, not just those suggest to you by My Aged Care.

In choosing your service provider, you should do so carefully. If you don't have a provider in mind, you should take the time to "shop around".

If you have friends who receive services, ask about their provider. Who would they recommend?

This is an important decision. Look for a service provider that has an established track record of helping their clients to remain living in their own home. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. For example:

  • On average, how long do your clients live at home on a Home Care Package with you?
  • How much choice do I get?
  • Can you offer other services if I need them?

Make a list of the things that are important to you and include these in your enquiries. You should also feel free to include trusted friends or family members in these discussions Another factor is whether or not you see residential care as a future possibility. Many providers of in­ home services also have residential facilities.

If you do plan on moving into residential care at some point, this may allow you to continue with the same providers.

If you don't ever want to move into care, you may prefer to choose an organisation which specialises in keeping people in their own homes, such as Uniting Vic. Tas.

Be wary of any provider who evades any of your questions. The cheapest providers may not offer the best services or may cut corners.

Finally, remember that if you are not happy with the service you receive from the provider you choose, you can always switch.

Can I choose how my package is used?

Transparency is one of the basic principles of Consumer Directed Care. It is Government policy that all package holders on the same level receive the same amount of funding as each other. For example, all level 4 package holders receive the same funding as all other level 4 package holders.

You will be able to track the financial aspects of your package through monthly statements sent to you from your provider.

Your monthly statement will show you where the dollars in your package are being spent and how much is left in your budget.

Because you are able to track the dollars spent, you may find that you have more to spend on services than  you thought, or you may find you must be selective with which services you want and exclude the services which are less important to you.

Time spent in contact with your consultant is allocated to a set amount of time per month for Home Care Packages. People who want more case management and contact with their consultant should account for this in their package budget.

We are here to assist you to make a smooth transition into your Home Care Package and help you balance the service and consultation that best suits your needs as an individual.

Whenever you have questions, we will work closely with you to ensure that the services you receive are truly based on what is most important to you.

All choices are yours and you will be able to track your choices on your monthly statement.

How involved can I be in managing my own package?

With each package you are able to determine the level of involvement you want to have and how much assistance you need from your Consultant. We offer three levels of self-direction. You are able to pick the one which suits you.

All levels of self-direction have access to an after­ hours telephone service along with advocacy, pastoral care, service coordination and more.

Each level begins with an initial assessment and includes an emergency plan to assist you in the case of any unforeseen circumstance.

Premium Package

Our Premium Package requires a high level of organisational skills by you, a trusted family member, friend or representative. This level gives you full control of your package with access to all our services if you need them.

You can independently determine your needs from your wants with the full support of our administration team and your on-call consultant.

You coordinate and change services provided and the people which provide these services.

A stored-value debit card is a key part of this option. See page 1O for more information.

Economy Packages

Packages usually begin on our Economy Package. This level gives the client full case management through a personal Consultant who facilitates an initial needs assessment and detailed planning to create a tailored care plan based on what your wants and needs truly are.

Your services are coordinated through your Consultant and our dedicated Customer Service Team. You Consultant will keep in regular contact with you to check in and see how you are.

No matter which plan you choose, you are always treated with dignity as we work together. All our clients work within a safety net with emergency plans and risk management assessments designed for their protection.

If an unfortunate event happens, whether it is an illness, accident or another unforeseen incident, you are able to add additional case management hours, where we will manage your services until you are able to resume your desired level of management.

What fees will I be charged?

We are totally transparent about costs. We offer our clients the choice of three levels of self-management of their Home Care Package.

The more involved a client is able to be in managing their own Home Care Package, means your Consultant spends less time organising individual services as per your plan. In turn, this reduces the cost to our client.

Another important factor in what costs are involved is the level of your Home Care Package. This also reflects the number of services you may require.

We have produced a simple document outlining all of our costs for:

  • Each level of Home Care Package (Level 1, 2, 3 and 4) and
  • Each of the three levels of self-management for each Home Care Package

Irrespective of what level of Home Care Package you have, or how involved you choose to be in managing your services with us:

  • You will NOT be charged any Basic Daily Fee, which the Government recommends providers charge up to $10.54 per day (based on January 2017 figures)
  • You will know exactly how many Case Management/Care Co-ordination hours you will receive, and
  • You will know exactly how much of your funding is available to be spent exactly as you wish, before you commit to using our services.
What happens if my needs change?

Because of different circumstances, your needs may change in the short-term, or increase slightly. This can be because of an accident, an illness, a decline in health, or due to family members who provide care going on holidays. If your needs have changed, speak to your Consultant to discover a solution. Your Consultant may be able to adjust your existing plan or reallocate any available funds to meet your needs.

Additional government-funded services beyond Home Care Packages can assist you. Your Consultant will be able to recommend to you services for which you may be eligible. If you are not eligible for additional Government-funded services, you may want to consider self-funded services.

Sometimes, your needs may change for the long-term. If this happens you may need to move to a higher-level package. Your Consultant can assist you with the reassessment process with the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS).

Charter of rights

All new care recipients must receive a copy of the Charter of Aged Care Rights from the 1 July 2019. Please find a copy of the Charter here or contact your Care Manager.

See Charter of rights

Find out how a home care package can help you live independently at home

For service in your area call
Glen Waverley 03 9239 2500
Prahran 03 9692 9433