Home care package funds can be used for services to keep you independent and safe in your home, as well as a wide range of clinical services to keep you well. These also include transport and social services that allow you to remain connected with your community.
Your home care provider will help you develop a care plan that includes services tailored to your specific needs.
Your home care package can be used for a comprehensive range of support services, such as:
So let’s break these down with some examples of how the home care package funds can be used.
Domestic assistance can include:
- A support worker helping you prepare meals, cooking for you or assisting with recipe planning.
- A professional gardener to help maintain your garden, or a support worker who provides companionship and does the gardening with you.
- Someone who can do domestic chores for you. Or a support worker who provides assistance while you clean, do washing etc together.
Transport can include:
- Trips to medical appointments (e.g. drop off and pick up), or a support worker who attends appointments with you, including a translator.
- Transport to help you visit family and maintain connected to your community.
- Companionship while attending your favourite activities.
- Assistance with shopping.
Home modifications can include:
- Support rails in the bathroom.
- Accessible ramps.
- Keyless door entry systems.
Aids and equipment can include:
- Mobility support e.g. walking frames, wheelchairs, crutches, mechanical lifting devices.
- Specialist mattresses.
- Pillows recommended by a chiropractor.
- Medical sheepskins.
- Other items that support activities of daily living.
Assistive technology can include:
- Fall detection pendants and GPS tracking devices.
- Home monitoring and sensors.
- Gas cut off and flood detection devices.
- Communication and safety devices.
- Medication reminders.
- 24/7 remote medical monitoring.
- Voice activated technology.
- Internet connection.
SEE ALSO: Technology for keeping older people safe
Nursing and Allied health can include:
- After hospital care e.g. dressings and wound management.
- Strength training.
- Massage and physiotherapy.
- Medication management.
- Dietetics and nutrition management.
Personal care can include:
- Assistance with dressing and showering.
- Toileting and continence management.
- Personal and oral hygiene.
Services need to fit within your package budget and be listed in your care plan.
What can’t home care package funds be used for?
In general, home care package funds can’t be used for services already covered by the Australian government.
These include payment for services covered by Medicare or private health insurance. And payment for items already covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Other items that can’t be paid for by your home care package include:
- Daily bills and expenses such as gas and electricity.
- General groceries and food, unless the food is part of enteral feeding requirements.
- Gambling and club memberships.
- Tickets to sporting events.
- Rental or mortgage payments
- Home modifications unrelated to your mobility and safety.
- General household appliances not related to your care needs.
- Clothing, other than adaptive clothing to assist with mobility and dressing.
- Travel and accommodation for holidays.
- Daily home care fee payments.
- Residential respite already subsidised by the Australian government.
Although there are rules in place to prevent what’s known as “double dipping”, (e.g. using funds for services that are already subsidised), you really do have flexibility and choice when it comes to how your funds are spent.
If the goods and services relate to your care and wellbeing, there is no reason they shouldn’t be included in your care plan. The trick is to be persistent with your provider in getting what you want out of your home care package!