Underlying this philosophy is a Government need to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of providing funding for aged care. It is no secret that Residential Care costs the Government coffers much more than Home Care does. Hence, it makes financial sense for the Government to encourage elderly Australians who are deemed eligible for aged care to remain at home for as long as possible. A win for people who wish to remain at home and a win for the Government, financially.
To be able to live at home with appropriate supports, the Government's Home Care Package (HCP) programme is structured to follow a certain process:
After you have been assessed by an ACAT/ACAS team and they have recommended a HCP, you will be placed in a National Priority queue. What this means is you wait for a HCP to become available. It is not simply a matter of first in, best dressed, it also is a matter of priority. When you are assessed as eligible for a HCP by the ACAT/ACAS team, they (the assessors) also make a recommendation of the urgency or priority of their HCP. There are 3 levels of priority, low, medium and high. The higher your priority, the higher you are in the queue, effectively skipping ahead in the queue in front of others who may have been assessed before you.
This means the client (if appropriate and if they want) can have more choice and control over what, when and where services are delivered. The Home Care Package Provider must work in partnership with the client to make this happen.
Prior to CDC the client had little choice in what services the Package Provider decided to deliver. This led to a mainly clinical focus on the care needs of the client with little or no involvement from the client. Post-CDC and later through the New Aged Care Standards, the Government has facilitated client involvement in the design of the care services that will be delivered to the client and strongly advocates the dignity of risk.
The principal of "dignity of risk" is that the client, if able, chooses to make an informed decision on what services are suited to their needs even if these choices may differ from their health and safety needs. If denying the right to make choices leads to the clients self-esteem and quality of life being adversely impacted then the client will have been deprived of the dignity of risk.
The Care List strongly supports the principles of Consumer Directed Care and Dignity of Risk. All our clients and their representatives participate in the design of their care plan, the clear articulation of their needs and goals and what services they would like to put in place to enable these objectives to be met. Of course, there is always the limitation of the amount of funds the Government provides based on the HCP level assigned to the client. Where the goals and needs are not being met due to a shortage of funds available, The Care List become an advocate for the client in applying for a higher package level and thus raising the available funds to try and meet the clients goals.
There is great pressure on the Australian Government to increase the number of available HCP as there is a long wait queue of approved clients who are desperate to receive support in order for them to remain at home safely and in comfort.
Don't have a HCP yet? You can use one of the forms below to apply for a HCP.
If you are a GP or a Health Professional then this referral form can be used
If you are family friend, or the person who needs help then use this referral form
Assuming you have done your research and engaged a Package Provider, the Package Provider will then do a thorough assessment of your goals and needs and will design a programme of care services to be delivered to you in order to meet your stated goals and needs. As always, the limitations on the number of services and/or its frequency will depend upon the amount of funds available in the HCP.
The process after you have signed up a Package Provider is for the provider to send out a case manager who will be responsible for: