Are you over 65 years of age and are wondering what Home Care Packages are all about?
Your Home Care Package (HCP) is one of the many ways you can receive the services you need to remain living independently and confidently in your own home, and it is important to understand the way the funding works and what’s available to you so that you can make the most of it. You need someone who really understands your goals and can assist you in navigating the Australian aged care system.
This is where ECH can assist you. ECH has a solid reputation as a not-for-profit organisation that provides sound advice and services in the aged care sector, including as a provider of HCPs.
As a HCP client with ECH you will be partnered with a dedicated Relationship Manager. Your Relationship Manager can provide you with advice and guidance on your HCP to enable you to achieve your goals and maintain your independence. This includes identifying what is important to you and what you want to achieve, and then setting up service plans that are within HCP guidelines.
ECH is dedicated to maintaining your independence for as long as possible. Perhaps you have experienced a significant event or change in your life that prompted your decision to seek a HCP. Recognising the benefit of a restorative focus, the first eight to twelve weeks of your HCP will be aimed at getting you back to living confidently in your own home, and may include rehabilitation to maintain or increase strength, mobility and confidence.
Your Relationship Manager will work with you to develop an individual budget based on your personal goals and the income (package level) you have been provided with. This includes services you require (for example house cleaning, personal care, nursing and physiotherapy), how the services will be provided and any other planned expenditure. Budgets can be set for periods from a week to a year, and you will receive a monthly statement from ECH regarding your HCP which explains your available funds and how funds have been spent, as well as the balance of any unspent funds.
ECH may also, with your permission and knowledge, work with your carers or family and other organisations to ensure your needs are being looked after.
ECH will organise services on your behalf, with your knowledge and consent, and ensure that payment from your HCP is made for those services.
Your HCP can be spent in various areas such as personal care, clinical services, transport, your personal safety within your home and without, and other services or items that are unable to be funded in any other way and that support your identified goals and service plan.
A review of your HCP is conducted annually, however, if at any stage you find that your service plan or budget isn’t meeting your needs you can talk to your Relationship Manager about the options available to you, which might include renegotiating priorities, purchasing additional services outside of your HCP, or applying for a higher level HCP. Your Relationship Manager can assist you with implementing whichever option you choose.
If you have a HCP you will already have had an ACAT assessment which has determined the amount of funds (package level) that you are eligible for. The implementation of your package, following ACAT approval, will be dependent upon the availability of your assessed package level being available from an individual provider in your local area.
Generally there is a basic daily fee contribution which is 17.5% of the single basic aged pension; however, personal circumstances can be taken into account. If you are in financial hardship (which is determined by Centrelink) then fees may be waived or reduced. There may also be an income tested fee applied to the Government contribution if you are a part pensioner or self funded retiree. This fee is determined by Centrelink.
ECH, through your Relationship Manager and as the provider of your HCP, will be the one place where you know you can receive accurate information and advice, and committed support regarding your individual situation. You also have the assurance that your Relationship Manager, and other ECH team members, will never make a decision or agree on services from individual agencies or organisations on your behalf. You will always maintain control.
ECH also takes on broader roles and activities to ensure benefits to the wider aged community. Some of these roles and activities include developing services in the wider community and advocating for policies that will be beneficial for older people, ensuring ECH staff are fully trained, ensuring quality service provision through seeking and acting upon feedback, identifying any needs for representation or advocacy, and providing an afterhours emergency service for urgent personal needs or assistance.
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