Home Care Levels Explained

Posted on March 25, 2019.

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There are many reasons why you or an elder family member may be considering some extra help around the home or to get about in the community. Here we talk about the different levels of home care services and how home help can assist you to achieve your goals.

What is home care?

Home care for elders in Australia is designed to enable people to enjoy their home independently for as long as possible and to provide individuals with a greater say in the services they manage for themselves.

When considering home help for the first time it’s good to remember that the services and supports available to you are based on your assessed needs and how you wish to live our life. In other words, what you feel is important to you and your lifestyle.

From basic to higher level care

Home care in Perth and beyond is provided at different levels to meet the individual requirements. Many people come to home care through the Commonwealth Home Support Program, the entry level service for home care.

This program provides services on an hourly basis, for as little as $10 per hour, with the government paying for most of the services.

As the program is designed to provide a basic level of support, the choice of services and supports are limited until a person's circumstances change and they are assessed and approved for a greater level of care.

You don’t need an income assessment to access the CHSP and the age pension will not be affected by personal contributions to the cost of services.

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Some of the different services to help you manage at home include:

  • Transport to medical appointments, shopping and other activities
  • Help around the home such as housing cleaning, washing clothes and general home maintenance
  • Assistance with preparing meals, nutrition advice and cooking.

Packaged care

People with greater, more complex or multiple care needs may be assessed to receive a home care package. Home Care Packages provide a wide variety of care and support over a more extended period of time, helping older people enjoy their own home longer. HCPs are arranged over four levels.

Basic and low care services (Level 1 and 2 care packages) can assist with everyday tasks and offer discreet support and help at home including:

  • personal care and light domestic assistance
  • help with meal planning and cooking
  • medication prompts and help with medical appointments
  • social support to connect with family and friends.

Intermediate and high care (Level 3 and 4 packages) offer greater assistance including those with dementia-related needs, services include nursing, meals, oxygen/enteral feeding assistance, domestic and personal support as well as transport and allied health.

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Who pays for home care packages?

Each package level receives a different level of funding with the higher levels receiving more support from the Government in the form of a subsidy.

Packaged Care also works to a budget but has more flexibility than CHSP and you get to choose the services you need. Payment is based on days (rather than hourly services), regardless of what particular day services are provided.

The government will pay a set amount per day depending on the level of your package and you will contribute a set amount which currently can be up to $15.84 per day.

For instance, if your care needs are greater and you have a level 4 package, the government will put in about $137 per day but if you are on a lower level of care (Level 1 or 2) the subsidy is around $22 to 41 per day.

Veterans may be eligible for a government subsidy which is currently around 10 per cent of the package subsidy – and if you are not sure, it’s best to contact the DVA for more information regarding veterans’ payments.

When you are approved, the Government subsidy is managed on your behalf by the provider you have chosen. They work with you to work out your individual budget to fund your services or care plan. A quality provider like Juniper can help.

Further assistance

To find out more about Juniper’s home care services, email homecare@juniper.org.au or call our friendly customer service team on 1300 313 000.