There’s a few things you must do to prepare for when your home care package starts. First of all, if you’ve been allocated a home care package, great news! You’re now eligible to start receiving government subsidised care services to remain healthy, safe, and independent in your own home. Let’s go over the next steps you need to take to get the most out of your home care package.
Don't delay choosing a home care package provider
Once you’ve been allocated a home care package, you have only 56 days to choose a provider and enter into a home care agreement. Your ACAT assessment will determine what home care package level is most suitable to meet your care needs. If you have requested to receive an interim package while you wait for a higher-level package, you must enter into a home care agreement to access your interim package.
Since you only have a limited amount of time to get started, the next step in receiving your home care package is to start choosing a provider.
Decide between self-managed and fully managed home care
Before you choose an approved home care package provider, it’s best if you understand the differences between self-managed and full managed home care.
Fully managed home care providers are the traditional way of providing home care in Australia. These traditional providers have their own carer workforce, manage what services you receive, and manage your package. But these providers take a large portion of your home care package in costs and fees – sometimes over 50% of the home care package! You also won’t be able to choose your own workers with a fully managed provider, meaning you will often see different workers each week.
Self-managed home care is the new and growing approach to home care in Australia. In a self-managed home care package, consumers are free to choose their own carers, select care services which best work for them, and make the most out of their home care package budget. Self-managed home care providers usually offer much lower fees than traditional providers – Trilogy Care offers self-managed packages for only 12% of your home care package!
Check out our handy guide on the differences between self-managed and fully managed home care packages if you need more information.
Choose a home care provider
There is a lot to consider when choosing a home care package provider, but you can speed up the process if you know where to look and what to look for. My Aged Care’s find a provider tool is an excellent way to find home care package providers in your area. You can even filter your results to only show self-managed package providers.
We have a handy guide on how to choose a home care package provider to help you through the process. Using this guide, we can reduce a large number of providers from My Aged Care into a comprehensive shortlist. We should then call each provider and ask a series of questions to learn more about them, so we can make our own provider comparison to help us decide. If you follow the steps in our guide, you will quickly be able to find a home care package provider that suits you best!
Set up your care plan with your provider
Once you’ve chosen a home care package provider, you will need to give them a copy of your referral code so they can look over the information from your ACAT assessment. Using this information they can start to set up your care plan.
Your care plan is a personalised plan on what your care needs are, what services you require to meet those needs, and when and where you will receive these services. This plan is based on your needs and helps your provider know exactly what services you require. Make sure you give your provider as much information as possible.
Choose the services you need
If you choose a self-managed home care package, you will have much more control over which services you receive. Your services must meet your genuine care needs – there are several inclusions and exclusions. These services will help you to remain healthy, safe, and independent in your own home.
For example, you may decide that you need some help around the home with cleaning and light gardening. If you’re starting to have reduced mobility, you may want to have a personal carer to help you with getting out of bed in the morning and getting dressed, as well as helping you prepare your meals for the day. You can also use home care package funds on various health tests and nursing services.
Read our comprehensive guide on what home care package funds can be used for if you need more information.
Choose your home care workers
If you choose a self-managed home care package, you will be free to choose your own care workers. This way, you only have to receive care from the carers you feel comfortable with, and can take your time to choose a compassionate and caring worker.
Finding your own care workers is easy. Carer marketplaces like Mable help older Australians to find care workers available in their area. Carers on Mable are guaranteed to have all the compliance checks we require at Trilogy Care, but you are free to use any other carer marketplace, such as Find A Carer, Care Seekers, and Like Family.
Choosing your own care workers also means you only have to pay the rates you are comfortable with, saving you hundreds compared to traditional providers. These savings go straight back into your package budget so you can get additional care services.
We have a walkthrough on using a carer marketplace if you need more help choosing your own care workers.
Start receiving subsidised aged care services
Once you have finished setting up your care plan with your chosen home care package provider, decided on your care services, and chosen your home care workers, you are ready to start your home care package. Enter into a home agreement with your chosen provider, and once your start date has passed, you will be able to pay for your services using your home care package funds.