How do I apply for a home care package?

Our health needs change as we age, but one thing stays the same: our desire to remain living in our own home. Home is where we’re happiest. And even though some things may become harder to manage, the good news is you don’t have to deal with them alone. Applying for a home care package from the Australian Government can help you live at home for longer.

A senior lady is sitting on her couch surrounded by West Highland White Terrier paraphernalia. She is holding two West Highland White Terrier puppies and has an adult West Highland White Terriers on either side of her. She is smiling at the camera

Perhaps you’re struggling to keep the garden from going wild, or you’re having trouble getting down to the shops. Maybe you could use a hand getting ready each day. If this sounds familiar, a home care package may provide the help you need.

Here are the steps you need to take to apply for a home care package:

  1. Ask yourself how you’re going
  2. Register with My Aged Care
  3. Organise an assessment with a healthcare professional
  4. Receive a letter from My Aged Care

What is a home care package?

A home care package is Australian Government funding for you to buy services that will help you live a full and active life at home. Common examples include:

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Cleaning help

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Help with showering and getting ready each day

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Mowing the lawns

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Help with your shopping

How to apply for a home care package

Step 1 - ask yourself how you are going at home

The most important (and first) step is asking yourself how you’re really going at home. Are you avoiding or ‘working around’ tasks that used to be easy? Do you find you’re relying more and more on help from your children or neighbours?

Answer these questions honestly – this can help you decide if you need help.

Step 2 - register with My Aged Care

Once you’ve decided you may need help, it’s time to explore the range of services you may be eligible for – including applying for a home care package. To do this, you must register with My Aged Care. This is the Federal Government’s gateway to all government-funded aged care services.

You can register with My Aged Care through their website myagedcare.gov.au. You can also call their contact centre on 1800 200 422.

My Aged Care will provide you with information on aged care for:

  • yourself
  • a family member
  • friend or someone you’re caring for.

If you’d like help with the My Aged Care application process, please call our friendly team on 1800 242 696.

Step 3 - get an aged care assessment

After you register with My Aged Care, it’s time to take part in an assessment. This provides a snapshot of your current needs and what support may be most helpful to you.

My Aged Care will organise your assessment through a local Aged Care Assessment Service. There is no cost to you.

A healthcare professional will meet with you. They will ask about how well you’re managing your day-to-day life. This helps them understand the type of support you are eligible for.

Step 4 - choose your home care package provider

My Aged Care will send you a letter telling you the outcome of your assessment. The letter will also tell you your approved home care package level.

There is a national waitlist for home care packages. You may need to wait between six and 18 months before one becomes available. The amount of time you wait depends on the date you had your assessment, and the priority your assessor gives you.

My Aged Care will let you know when you’ve got about three months left on the waitlist. Now is the time to choose an organisation or ‘service provider’ to help plan your care and organise the services you need.

How to choose the home care package provider that’s best for you

My Aged Care will send you a third letter telling you they have assigned you a home care package. At this stage, it’s time to select your service provider. Your provider will put everything in place to ensure your home care services begin.

Feeling overwhelmed?

With so many options available, navigating the aged care system can feel overwhelming. The best place to start may be as simple as having a chat with one of our Home Care Package consultants on 1800 242 696. They live and breathe aged care services, and can cut through jargon and complexity. They will guide you through your options and help you plan your next steps, including how to apply for a home care package through My Aged Care.

Request a call today at a time that suits you.

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