If you’re eligible for a Home Care Package, it’s a good idea to connect with aged care providers in your local area. You may need to wait before a package is assigned to you. So, using the time to look at your options will help ensure you’re ready when one is available.
On this page, we cover the key steps involved in searching for and connecting with the right provider for your needs:
Before connecting with providers...
Make sure you have taken these steps first:
Find providers near you
There are a few ways to find a provider.
- Ask your assessor to refer you to a provider.
If you choose this option, the assessor will refer you to a local provider, who will then contact you directly.
- Use the Find a provider tool to search for local providers yourself.
If you choose this option, the assessor will give you a referral code. You then give this referral code to your chosen provider and they can start organising services.
- Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for guidance.
Create a shortlist
Every provider is different. It’s good to compare what is available to determine the best match for you.
One of the easiest ways to create a shortlist is by using the Find a provider tool on this website. You can use the filters in the tool to help you find local services that best match your needs, starting with your location and the package level you’re approved for.
Some providers may not be available when you need them. You can use the Find a provider tool to see if they are available or call them directly.
Prices vary between providers, so to get the most out of your package funds, it’s worth comparing what’s on offer.
All home care providers must publish their full price list of all services and costs. The things you should look at include the cost of:
- care management
- package management.
Costs will vary depending on your choice of provider and when the services are delivered.
- What's included in services
All providers deliver services differently, and there may be differences in costs. Read their service descriptions and pricing information to understand what the differences are.
- Day and time
How much a provider charges for a service may change depending on when the service is provided. Typically, costs will be higher on weekends and outside of 6am - 6pm Monday to Friday.
- Who provides the service
Costs may differ if the provider delivers the service themselves or subcontracts from another company. From 1 January 2023, costs for third party services must be included in care management, package management or direct service charges. They should not appear as additional charges on a monthly statement.
- Care and package management costs
Both of these may be included in your package, so it’s worth comparing the costs. Care management makes sure you get the coordinated care you need. Package management covers the administration needed for the smooth delivery and management of your package. From 1 January 2023, care and package management charges will be capped at 20 per cent and 15 per cent of the package level respectively.
Providers must discuss with you:
- What their prices are
- What those prices include
- If those prices change, why they are changing
- When changes to prices will start
Once you have found providers using the Find a provider tool, you can view this information by selecting the ‘Costs’ tab on their profile.
All Home Care Package providers should be able to offer you the same types of common services. These include:
- personal care
- cleaning and household tasks
- light gardening, and
- in-home respite.
After you’ve searched for Home Care Package providers in your area, check that these services are on offer either through the provider’s profile, or by contacting them directly.
Some providers offer services for people with very specific needs. For example, some specialise in offering care and support for those with dementia. Others offer care for continence management and hearing or vision impairments.
This can be included in your Find a provider search to help narrow down your choices.
If English isn’t your first language, or you’d like a faith-based service provider or one that understands your culture, look for a provider that suits you by including these choices in your search to create a more tailored list.
All providers must meet Aged Care Quality Standards. When they don’t meet these standards, they may receive a non-compliance decision. Information on a provider’s current and past performance can be found on their provider details page by selecting the ‘Compliance’ tab.
Make contact with providers
Once you have a shortlist of providers, it’s a good idea to meet them. Talking with providers will help you understand what you would get if you chose them. You’ll be able to see what types of care, services, and activities they offer.
How you can prepare for your meeting
It’s a good idea to first find out more about what a Home Care Package can provide, including:
- the types of services you can expect
- what can and cannot be included in your package
Read the Home Care Packages Program Manual for service details and decision-making tools.
What to take with you
Take a copy of your Home Care Package approval letter and support plan. Your income assessment outcome (if you have it) will also be helpful in your discussion.
Write out any questions you plan to ask. This will help you make sure you cover everything you want to know. We have a list of questions to help get you started.
Who can come with you
There can be a lot of information to take in at your meeting with a provider, so taking a family member, friend or carer with you can be very helpful. You always have a right to support, so feel free to include someone close to you or ask for advocacy support.
Discuss how your family can be included in your decision making and how the provider will include your family member or carer in your care plan.
Choose a provider
After you’re comfortable with a provider and decide to accept their services, you then develop a care plan together. This plan outlines your needs and how these needs will be met.
Your care plan will be the basis of a Home Care Agreement. This is a legal document that sets out the services you will receive, who will provide them, and how much they will cost. You must agree to this before services can begin.
Read more about agreeing to a Home Care Package with your preferred provider.