Get the support you need, now
Home Care packages from the federal government help tens of thousands of Australians to live independently in their own homes. But with waiting lists for some packages stretching to more than 12 months, it makes sense to look at other ways of accessing the support you need right away.
They say good things come to those who wait. And the wait for aged care support under the Federal Government’s Home Care Package program can sometimes be very long indeed.
If you or a loved one has recently been approved for a Level 3 or 4 Home Care Package, you can expect to wait at least 12 months before the full benefit comes through. If you have been approved for a level 2 package, the wait is likely to be up to 6-9 months, while even those approved for a level 1 package can expect to wait three months.
“Because the Home Care Package program is so popular there is a big time gap between being approved for a package and it actually being assigned by the government,” explains Wendy Mason, BaptistCare’s Quality and Development Manager for Home Services. “Often, if you have been approved for a level 3 or 4 package, you may be offered a level 2 package in the interim. However, you are still likely to have to wait 12 months or more for the full package.”
If you need assistance now, there are other ways to get it. Likewise, if you simply feel more support would make it easier for you to manage, or if you want to improve life for a loved one. The good news is that you do have other options.
“By exploring other options available for in-home support or considering paying for private services for a short period, many people can enjoy home care services, immediately,” says Wendy.
Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
The Federal Government currently offers in-home support through two primary programs: Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). While Home Care Packages are intended for people with complex needs, CHSP is aimed at those with more basic requirements for domestic assistance and personal care. The waiting list for CHSP can be much shorter and in some instances, care can be provided within a few days.
Wendy says while you’re waiting for your Home Care package to come through, it can make sense to seek support through the CHSP program. While it may not fully meet your needs, it can tide you over and ensure you get the help you need with showering, shopping or cleaning.
BaptistCare is a trusted name in delivering CHSP services. Staff at the BaptistCare Customer Engagement Centre can talk you through your options and explain how to apply for help. You may also be eligible to receive funding for home modifications to make your home safer and support you to continue to be independent, while you wait for your Home Care package. In many areas, BaptistCare can help with this, too.
Pay privately for support services
Another option is to consider paying privately for support services while you wait for your Home Care package to commence. While the idea of paying for services might not initially be appealing, Wendy says it’s actually a great way to start preparing for your Home Care package.
“People sometimes forget that there is a co-payment for subsidised Home Care services,” Wendy explains. “Once you commence on your Home Care package you may be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care, and this can be around $70 a week. If you were to put that same amount towards paying for private services now, you would be well on your way to paying for a couple of hours of support a week.” BaptistCare provides private services in a wide range of areas to support your health, independence, home needs and to help you stay connected.
Wendy explains there are advantages to paying privately for services while you wait for your subsidised Home Care package to come through. “The benefit of going with someone like BaptistCare for private services is you start to develop a rapport with the provider and the care workers,” she says. “So, when you move onto the package, you can have the same care workers who have been coming to you through your private services. You have already built that relationship and trust with the provider, so the transition to the package is seamless.”
Family members can also choose to pay for private services to ensure their parents receive the care they need, right away. “Particularly, if their mother or father is in another location where they’re not able to visit frequently, it can be a real comfort and give peace of mind knowing someone is visiting,” says Wendy.
So, don’t despair whilst you wait for your Home Care Package to come through. Explore your options and consider approaching the experts at BaptistCare for help, and you could have access to quality care sooner than you might expect.
To find out more about your care options, contact the BaptistCare Customer Engagement Centre on 1300 275 227 or visit www.youchoose.org.au