What Are the Four Home Care Package Levels?

Posted on November 26, 2018.

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Most people expect to stay in their own home a long time and be connected to their local area. However, as time passes, some people find they have trouble with day-to-day activities such as cleaning and cooking or more complex matters such as getting around safely or taking care of personal or medical needs.

Home Care Packages are available if an elderly person has been assessed as needing regular support. The program provides the flexibility to encourage them to maintain their well-being and independence. And, if the need is great and waiting for a package is difficult, it's good to know more options like interim care are available.

What are the HCP four levels?

Home care packages are ideal if you or your loved one has been assessed as needing more support.

Consumer Directed Care means you can choose from a range of care options from basic support to high levels of nursing and personal care, depending on your assessed needs and personal preferences.

Assessment for eligibility for home care packages is completed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) who will determine which package level best meets your care needs. The Package levels are divided into four:

  • LEVEL 1 Basic Care Needs
  • LEVEL 2 Low-level Care Needs
  • LEVEL 3 Intermediate Care Needs
  • LEVEL 4 High-level Care Needs

Eligibility for Home Care

Basic eligibility for Australian Government-funded services requires that you’re an older person usually 65 or more years old, or 50 years or more for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and you’re having greater difficulty with daily living.

Eligibility starts by contact with My Aged Care and is confirmed by an in-person assessment, usually conducted in your home, through My Aged Care.

Aged Care Assessments

A phone screening is the first step, and these are a set of questions that will help determine what the best level of care or assistance required.

For entry-level help, My Aged Care may send out a RAS (Regional Assessment Service) assessor. Or depending on the level of need and other matters, they may send an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessor who evaluates all three service types - home care, residential aged care and respite care.

It’s good to know the ACAT assessor will determine a service, and potentially all care services, an older person requires. It’s not uncommon for a person to have an assessment for a Home Care Package Level 3 or 4, Residential Care and also be respite-care approved.

If you accept home care, it does not mean you are turning down the residential approval.

Subsidies for extra financial assistance

Additional government funding can be accessed for care recipients with special circumstances. It’s best to check with Centrelink or DVA about the range of supports you may be able to claim, including:

  • Veterans Supplement - for veterans living with a mental health condition accepted by the DVA
  • Dementia & Cognition Supplement - for people with cognitive impairment associated with dementia (assessment required)
  • Oxygen Supplement - for people with a specified medical need for the continuous administration of oxygen
  • Enteral Feeding Supplement - for people with a specified medical need for enteral feeding
    Viability Supplement - for people living in rural or remote regions
  • Top-up Supplement – applies only to people who held an EACH-D (Level 4) package prior to 1 August 2013
  • Hardship Supplement - for people who have a genuine financial hardship, who do not have an income to pay a basic daily care fee due to circumstances beyond their control.

The Government will be able to work out if you need to make a contribution to your in-home care costs if you currently receive a Centrelink payment such as the aged or disability support pension or if you are paid a pension or supplement from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Who you can depend on

A Home Care Package provider like Juniper can do everyday chores around the house. Juniper’s friendly and dependable care workers take the worry out of day-to-day tasks, such as cleaning and tidying, doing the dishes, making beds and laundry and gardening.

They can also help with essential activities outside the home such as bill paying, banking and shopping. If Mum or Dad has higher needs, a good provider can help with a community aged care package that includes clinical support, such as medication administration, wound care and lifting using a safe hoist transfer.

It’s not all about cost

While the cost of care services and other supports is an important consideration, it’s a good idea to base your decisions on the bigger picture – can your provider meet your needs and help you maintain your budget? Here are some matters to consider when weighing up aged care providers:

  • Some providers have 200 or more clients being managed by a single coordinator, Juniper has less than 50 clients per advisor.
  • Ask if your case manager or client support officer is managing a care worker team while caring for clients. A provider like Juniper has dedicated staff support officers and resources teams that take care of rostering and supporting staff so its Care Advisors can focus solely on taking care of clients’ needs.
  • Find a provider where you can speak directly to your Care Advisor about day-to-day things, thereby avoiding the need to explain your personal situation to a stranger in a call centre.
  • Are they experienced? Since February 2017 many new providers have joined the aged care sector; find out more about your future care provider’s training, their ability meet your clinical or allied health needs or if they outsource nursing to an agency.

Contact us

It’s easy to start the conversation and you do not need referral to talk to a friendly Home Care Package provider like Juniper. Our care advisors take the time to listen and work to meet your care needs and help you get the most from your care budget.

You can contact Juniper on 1300 313 000 or visit here to find out more.