A home care package is a coordinated package of care and services to help you to live independently in your own home for as long as you can. Some people receive services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and are then assessed for a home care package. Others will start with a home care package.
The benefit of a home care package is that your home care provider will work with you to:
- choose care and services that best meet your needs and goals
- manage your care and services.
There are four levels of home care packages to help meet the different levels of care needs. During your aged care assessment, your assessor will discuss your current care needs and determine the best level to meet them.
It is expected that more people will be assessed as eligible for a lower level package, with a smaller number being assessed as needing higher level packages.
Government funding by package level
The total cost of a home care package is made up of:
- what you need to pay (your contribution)
- what the Australian Government pays (the subsidy).
The Australian Government pays a different subsidy amount for each level of home care package. This amount is paid to the home care provider you choose.
The government subsidy for each package is as follows:
|Aged care services for
|Yearly amount paid by the
Australian Government up to
approximate* value of
|1||Basic care needs||$8,250|
|2||Low-level care needs||$15,000|
|3||Intermediate care needs||$33,000|
|4||High-level care needs||$50,250|
* The maximum government contribution increases each year. The individual amount that will be paid will depend on whether you are asked to pay an income-tested care fee.
Find out more about home care package costs and what you need to pay.
You may be eligible for a home care package if you are:
- an older person who needs coordinated services to help you to stay in your home
- a younger person with a disability, dementia or other special care needs that are not met through other specialist services.
There are no minimum age requirements or residency restrictions but home care packages are not intended for visitors to Australia or people requiring temporary or short-term care.
Assessment for a home care package
To find out if you are eligible for a home care package or any other help at home services, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. The My Aged Care contact centre will ask you a series of questions to determine if you need an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
During the assessment the ACAT will determine if you are eligible for a home care package and which package level best meets your care needs.
If approved as eligible and needing care, you will be approved for one level of home care package. You will be prioritised for care based on your assessed need.
Each level of home care packages provides a different subsidy amount. This amount is paid to your selected approved home care provider. The subsidy contributes to the total cost of your services and care delivery. It is expected that you will contribute to the cost of your care where your personal circumstances allow.
Find out more about an ACAT assessment.
The types of services you can access under a home care package include, but are not limited to:
- Personal services: assistance with personal activities such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing and undressing, mobility and communication.
- Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet: assistance with preparing meals, including special diets for health, religious, cultural or other reasons; assistance with using eating utensils and assistance with feeding.
- Continence management: assistance in using continence aids and appliances such as disposable pads and absorbent aids, commode chairs, bedpans and urinals, catheter and urinary drainage appliances, and enemas.
- Mobility and dexterity: providing crutches, quadruped walkers, walking frames, walking sticks, mechanical devices for lifting, bed rails, slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows, pressure-relieving mattresses and assistance with the use of these aids.
- Nursing, allied health and other clinical services: speech therapy, podiatry, occupational or physiotherapy services, hearing and vision services. Home care level 1 and 2 packages are not intended to provide comprehensive clinical or health services. Home care level 3 and 4 packages have a greater emphasis on delivering complex care in the home, including more clinical care where needed.
- Transport and personal assistance: assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities.
- Management of skin integrity: assistance with bandages, dressings and skin emollients.
A home care package may also be used to support the use of:
- telehealth: video conferencing and digital technology (including remote monitoring) to increase access to timely and appropriate care
- assistive technology: such as aids and equipment (particularly those that assist a person to perform daily living tasks), as well as devices that assist mobility, communication and personal safety
- aids and equipment: some aids and equipment that are directly associated with your care needs can be purchased using funds from your package budget. Read more about aids and equipment.
Home care package restrictions
There are care and services that you must not use home care package funds for:
- items that would normally be purchased out of general income
- buying food, except as part of enteral feeding requirements
- payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments or rent
- payment of home care fees
- payment of fees or charges for other types of care funded or jointly funded by the Australian Government
- home modifications or assets that are not related to your care needs
- travel and accommodation for holidays
- cost of entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events
- gambling activities
- payment for services and items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Consumer directed care
All home care packages must be provided on a consumer directed care basis. Which means your provider will work with you to identify a home care package of care and services to meet your needs so you can live a more active and independent life.