Why Latrobe Community Health Service?
You are in control
At all times, your independence and happiness are at the centre of the work we do. Our first priority is to listen, and develop a deep understanding of what is important to you.
The highest of standards
Each business we appoint to deliver services for you must meet our stringent criteria for service provision; exceptional service levels, competitive pricing, police checks, and appropriate insurance.
Experienced and trusted
Latrobe Community Health Service has delivered home care services to thousands of clients throughout Victoria for more than 22 years.
Our clients stay with us because they trust us. They appreciate our reliability and our ‘no surprises’ approach to service delivery.
What is a home care package?
The Federal Government provides funding to eligible Australians over the age of 65 to help them live at home for longer.
If you get a home care package, you can use that funding to purchase things like cleaning help, assistance with showering and getting ready each day, mowing the lawns, and anything else that will help you continue to live a full and active life.
What services can I get through a home care package?
The most common services are things like:
- support services – such as help with washing and ironing, house cleaning, gardening, basic home maintenance, home modifications related to your care needs, and transport to help you with shopping, visit your doctor or attend social activities
- personal care – such as help with showering or bathing, dressing and mobility
- nursing, allied health and other clinical services
- care coordination and case management.
But remember, the aim is to help you continue to live a full and active life – so any service that helps you achieve this may be eligible.
How do I get a home care package?
All aged care services in Australia are now run through ‘My Aged Care’. This is a central website and phone number that the Australian Government runs. To access any aged care funding, you must register with My Aged Care by calling 1800 200 422 or by visiting http://www.myagedcare.gov.au.
When you register, you will receive a booking for an aged care assessment. Someone will come to your home to see what sort of help you might need. My Aged Care uses this assessment to work out what level of funding you can receive.
The Federal Government holds a national waiting list to receive a home care package. However, if you need immediate help you will be provided with temporary assistance until you receive your home care package.
When you receive a letter that says your home care package is allocated, it is time to choose an organisation that will help you buy the services you need.
What is a ‘service provider’?
A ‘service provider’ is an organisation that helps you plan your care, and then delivers that plan by organising the services you need. For example, if you need help with showering, they will organise someone to come to your house at agreed times to help you. Some service providers have staff that deliver these services directly. Other service providers have a network of third-party organisations they use to provide these services. Both approaches have their advantages.
Although most people choose to, you don’t have to use a service provider. If you wished, you could work directly with a lawn mowing company, personal care attendant, cleaning company etc. The choice is yours.
A good service provider should give you expert advice, arrange and schedule your services, and visit you on a regular basis. The cost for this comes out of your home care package. These costs vary between organisations, so it is important to take the time to understand them.
Where does Latrobe Community Health Service provide Home Care Packages?
Latrobe Community Health Service provides Home Care Packages throughout metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. So wherever you are, we can help you.
Are there any differences between home care package service providers?
Absolutely! The good news is that you are in control. If you try a service provider and you don’t have a good experience, you can change.
When comparing service providers, you should look for the following:
A clear explanation of all the costs
Providers differ in the way they present costs. You should never be surprised by extra fees or hidden charges.
Ask about how quickly an organisation will get back to you, and what hours they are available on the phone.
Some service providers have as many as 80 clients for each case manager. Others, like Latrobe Community Health Service, have far fewer in order to provide more thorough service to you. This makes an enormous difference to the quality of your care.
As well as our own frontline team of cleaners, personal care attendants and other staff, Latrobe Community Health Service also uses a range of organisations to deliver care, which means you have more choice.
How much does a home care package cost? Will accepting a home care package affect my pension?
Unfortunately, home care package costs can be complicated! This is due partly to the way the Australian Government assesses your income. Some service providers make it more complicated by having difficult-to-understand fee structures.
It is important that you insist on clear, patient explanations of the costs of a home care package. If you would like phone help to understand the costs, you can call Latrobe Community Health Service on 1800 242 696 or My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. My Aged Care also has a useful online fee estimator.
The money in a home care package comes from sources: you contribute, and the Government contributes. The combined money is the ‘home care package’.
This is the approximate Government contribution for each level of home care package:
- Level 1 Home Care package: $9,000.00
- Level 2 Home Care package: $15,750.00
- Level 3 Home Care package: $34,250.00
- Level 4 Home Care package: $51,130.00
Income-tested care fee
If you are on a full pension, you don’t have to contribute anything. If your income is higher than the basic pension, you may contribute to the cost of your home care package. The Government contribution to your home care package is reduced – but the overall amount of the home care package (your contribution + Government contribution) remains the same.
There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the income-tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees.
Basic daily fee
In addition to the income-tested care fee, the Government allows service providers to charge up to $10.75 per day. This is called the basic daily fee. Service providers can choose to charge all of this amount, or part of it. Others – like Latrobe Community Health Service – choose not to charge this fee at all. You should check the basic daily fee if you are comparing service providers.
It’s important to note that no-one should be disadvantaged by financial hardship. If you are unsure how much you might have to pay, please call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your circumstances.
You can also use the My Aged Care fee estimator. This allows you to see, up front, how much you would be expected to contribute to your home care package.
Service provider costs
Most people who receive a home care package choose a service provider to manage it on their behalf. This is a valuable service: at Latrobe Community Health Service we have a team of care managers who help you plan your care. They then check and hand-pick a mix of businesses to deliver that plan. We have service coordinators to help with any changes or additions to the services you receive. And we regularly visit you to check in and make sure you are getting the most from your Home Care Package.
How long do I have to wait for a home care package?
Unfortunately there aren’t enough home care packages for everyone who needs one. The Federal Government has a national list of people who are waiting for a home care package. Time on the wait list can vary and is sometimes considerable. Your position is determined by the date of your aged care assessment, and the priority the assessor allocates to you (low, medium, high).
If I don’t accept the offer of a home care package, will I lose my spot on the waiting list?
No, as long as you tell My Aged Care (by calling 1800 200 422) that you want to remain on the waitlist.
Am I still eligible for a home care package if I live with my carer?
Absolutely. Most people who have a home care package live with a carer. The home care package benefits both of you by assisting with your care.
My partner is unwell: can I use my home care package to help them?
While a home care package may indirectly benefit your partner (for example, because you are receiving house cleaning, gardening etc), any services must be for you.
I already have a cleaning lady I like. Can I keep using her?
In most cases, yes. The Federal Government has minimum standards for organisations that provide care, and we must ensure those standards are met. At Latrobe Community Health Service, we work with you to put in place the services you want, when you want them, delivered by your preferred provider.