Navigating the world of aged care involves numerous aspects for families, including understanding how to effectively utilise Home Care Package (HCP) funds. These government-subsidised packages are designed to support older people who wish to continue living at home by providing them with access to a range of care and services.

But what can you spend your aged care package on? And can its usage be tailored to meet individual needs?

In this article, we will explore the many ways in which HCP funds can enhance the lives of older Australians, ensuring they not only live safely at home but also enjoy a quality of life they deserve.


What Is a Home Care Package For Aged Care?

A Home Care Package (HCP) is a government-funded program designed to support older people who wish to remain living in their own homes. The program is tailored for individuals who require assistance with their daily activities and care needs but prefer to stay in the comfort of their own home rather than move into residential aged care.

The HCP program offers four levels of care packages to cater to different levels of care needs:

  • Level 1: For people with basic care needs.
  • Level 2: For people with low-level care needs.
  • Level 3: For people with intermediate care needs.
  • Level 4: For people with high-level care needs.

Each package level provides a different subsidy amount, which is paid to an approved home care provider selected by the individual. The individual, with the help of their provider, can tailor the services to best meet their specific needs and preferences. Regardless of what level you are, it’s important to understand the Home Care Package inclusions and exclusions.


Am I Eligible For a Home Care Package?

To be eligible for a Home Care Package, there are several criteria that you must meet:

  • Age Requirements: Generally, HCPs are intended for older people aged 65 years and over or 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, younger people with disabilities, care needs or special circumstances may also be eligible.
  • Assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT): To determine eligibility and the level of care needed, you must undergo a comprehensive assessment by an ACAT (or ACAS in Victoria). This team assesses your care needs and your ability to manage daily tasks.
  • Residency Status: You should be an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa, and reside in Australia.
  • Care Needs: The HCP is designed for those who need coordinated services to help them stay in their home, rather than for those with basic ad hoc care needs. The assessment will consider your physical, medical, psychological and social needs.
  • Consent to Services: You must be willing to receive services and agree to the conditions of receiving a Home Care Package.


What Can a Home Care Package Be Used For?

A Home Care Package is designed to provide a range of services to support elderly individuals in their own homes. These packages are incredibly versatile and can be tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of the individual. So, what can you buy with your Home Care Package?

Below are some of the key areas where HCP funds can be used:

Health and Nursing Care

  • Medical Support: Includes clinical services like wound care, medication management and monitoring of health conditions.
  • Allied Health Services: Access to physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy and other specialised health services.
  • Dementia Care: Specialised support for individuals with dementia, focusing on maintaining cognitive functions and managing behavioural changes.

Personal Care and Grooming

  • Assistance with Daily Tasks: Help with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene.
  • Mobility Support: Assistance with mobility devices and aids, ensuring safe movement within the home.
  • Nutritional Care: Help with meal preparation and dietary management to maintain a healthy diet.

Home Administration

  • Bill Management: Assistance with managing household bills and budgeting.
  • Appointment Coordination: Help with scheduling and keeping track of medical and other appointments.
  • Home Maintenance: Services such as gardening, basic home repairs and cleaning.

Travel Support

  • Transport Services: Assistance with transport to medical appointments, shopping and social outings.
  • Mobility Aid Modifications: Modifications to vehicles for easier accessibility and transport.

Social Support and Companionship

  • Community Engagement: Help in participating in community activities and events.
  • Companionship Services: Regular visits for social interaction and companionship.
  • Activity Programs: Engagement in hobbies and interests to promote mental and social well-being, such as book clubs or pet therapy.

Equipment and Assistive Technology

  • Mobility Aids: Items like walkers, wheelchairs and adjustable beds to assist with daily living.
  • Technology Aids: Assistive technologies for communication, safety monitoring and medication management.
  • Home Modifications: Changes to the home environment such as grab rails, ramps and bathroom modifications for safety and accessibility.

Planning Your Spending

It’s important to plan your spending with a HCP to ensure that you maximise the benefits and services you receive.

When deciding what you can spend your aged care package on, begin by evaluating your current and future care needs. Do you have any existing health conditions? What are your daily living activities? Are there any changes you might anticipate in your care requirements?

Once you understand your needs, familiarise yourself with the details of your HCP level, including the total funding available and any restrictions or guidelines on how the funds can be used. Then identify which services are most important for your wellbeing and quality of life so that you can allocate the funds effectively.

Budgeting is also an important part of planning your HCP spending. Create a budget that outlines your planned spending on different services. Consider allocating funds for essential services first, like health care and personal care, before allocating funds for additional services.

Is it Time to Consider Residential Aged Care?

When the level of care required exceeds what home care services can provide or if the daily care needs become too complex, residential care might be a more appropriate option. Safety concerns, such as the risk of falls or medical emergencies, are major indicators, especially if they occur frequently. For those requiring regular specialised medical care, a residential facility might offer better accessibility to these services.

Another critical aspect to take into account is the wellbeing of caregivers. If the physical, emotional or financial burden on family caregivers becomes overwhelming, a residential setting can provide the necessary relief while ensuring consistent and professional care. It’s also important to recognise that feelings of loneliness or social isolation in a home environment can be significantly reduced in a residential care facility, as they offer more opportunities for social interaction and community engagement. These social benefits are particularly beneficial for those who are hesitant about moving into aged care facilities.

As a leading residential aged care provider, Aurrum is happy to help you in your transition to aged care. If you’d like to find out more about residential aged care lifestyle and whether it’s right for you or your loved one, get in touch with our team today.