Home Care Packages Programme
The Home Care Packages Programme is part of the Australian Government’s continuum of care for older Australians.
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package is coordinated by an approved home care provider with funding provided by the Australian Government under the Aged Care Act 1997.
They provide older people who want to stay at home with access to a range of ongoing personal services, support services and clinical care that help them with their day-to-day activities.
From 1 July 2015, all Home Care Packages are required to be delivered on a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) basis. For more information on CDC, please see our Home Care Packages: Reform page.
What levels of care are available?
There are four levels of Home Care Packages:
- Home Care Level 1 – to support people with basic care needs
- Home Care Level 2 – to support people with low level care needs
- Home Care Level 3 – to support people with intermediate care needs
- Home Care Level 4 – to support people with high care needs
What types of services are provided?
The services that can be provided in a Home Care Package include, but are not limited to:
- Support services – such as help with washing and ironing, house cleaning, gardening, basic home maintenance, home modifications related to your care needs, and transport to help you with shopping, visit your doctor or attend social activities
- Personal care – such as help with showering or bathing, dressing and mobility
- Nursing, allied health and other clinical services – hearing services and vision services
- Care coordination and case management
A summary list of services available at any level of a Home Care Package can be found on the Home Care Package – Care and Services page on the My Aged Care website.
A full list of care and services provided through a Home Care Package is available in the User Rights Principles 2014.
Fees, charges, subsidy and supplements
Information on fees and charges that consumers may be asked to pay for Home Care Packages are found on the New Financial Arrangements for Residential and Home Care page.
Information on home care subsidies for each level package and relevant supplements is available on the Aged Care Subsidies and Supplements page.
Aged care legislation
The legal framework for the Home Care Packages Programme is underpinned by the Aged Care Act 1997 and the associated Principles (as outlined below), as well as determinations made under the Acts (for example, setting relevant subsidy and supplement levels).
- Accountability Principles 2014
- Allocation Principles 2014
- Fees and Payments Principles 2014
- Quality of Care Principles 2014
- User Rights Principles 2014
- Approval of Care Recipients Principles 2014
- Certification Principles 1997
- Complaints Principles 2014
- Records Principles 2014
- Sanctions Principles 2014
- Subsidy Principles 2014
For more information on the treatment of fees for consumers who entered into a Home Care Package on or before 30 June 2014, see:
The Guide to Aged Care Law provides a plain English interpretation of the Act and the Principles.
Right and responsibilities of providers and consumers
Approved providers have a number of responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997. These responsibilities relate to:
- Quality of Care Principles 2014: relating to the care and services that an approved provider of home care is to provide and the Home Care Standards that a home care provider is expected to meet as a part of quality review.
- User Rights Principles 2014: relating to security of tenure, access for advocates, rights and responsibilities of care recipients, and the information that must be provided to care recipients.
- Accountability Principles 2014: relating to the Quality Agency and quality reviewers access to the service, certain acts of an approved provider that do not constitute non-compliance with their responsibilities, notification of certain information about consumers that commence services on or after 1 July 2014, financial reporting requirements, participation in an aged care workforce census, police certificate requirements and how to manage staff with criminal convictions and manage reportable assaults.
These responsibilities are outlined in Section 2.2 Responsibilities & Obligations of the Guide to Aged Care Law.
The rights and responsibilities of Home Care Package consumers are set out in the Charter of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities – home care (the Charter).
The Charter is contained in Schedule 2 to the User Rights Principles 2014.
Further information for consumers
My Aged Care
My Aged Care was introduced on 1 July 2013 to assist older people and their families and carers to access aged care information and services.
My Aged Care provides information on:
- Home Care Packages and how to get a Home Care Package
- CDC and the care and services available through a Home Care Package
- possible fees and an online fee estimator for pricing of Home Care Packages
- your rights and responsibilities
- services in your area, including a Service Finder.
You can call the My Aged Care national contact centre on 1800 200 422 or visit the
My Aged Care website.
Five steps to accessing Home Care Packages
The Five steps to accessing Home Care Packages booklet provides a range of information to help consumers, and their family and carers, understand the process for taking up a Home Care Package. The booklet explains how older people with a range of high care needs can assess support in their home, through a coordinated Home Care Package.
The five steps outlined are:
- Step 1: Check your eligibility
- Step 2: Find a Home Care Package provider
- Step 3: Work out the costs
- Step 4: Accept a Home Care Package
- Step 5: Begin your services
The booklet is available to order via National Mail and Marketing (NMM) by phoning (02) 6269 1080 or emailing NMM directly (email@example.com) and quoting the publication title and reference number (DSS1631.06.15).
The booklet has been translated into 18 languages including:
Consumer checklist: Developing your care plan
Once you have been assessed as eligible for a Home Care Package and found a home care provider, the Checklist: Developing your care plan will help you to co-design your care plan with your provider and enter into a Home Care Agreement.
This checklist has been translated into 18 languages including:
- National Translating and Interpreting Services – website
- Factsheet - Information for consumers transitioning to consumer directed care (CDC)
Home Care Today
Home Care Today - Your guide to new choices in home care has some useful resources to help you understand what CDC means for you and your Home Care Package.
The website has been developed by COTA Australia in partnership with aged care peak bodies Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).
Further information for providers
For more information on CDC, please see our Home Care Packages: Reform page.
The Operational Manual is a useful guide for providers to support the delivery and management of the Home Care Packages Programme on a CDC basis.
The Operational Manual replaces the Home Care Packages Programme Guidelines and contains key updates such as:
- current information on fees and charges
- expanded information for providers on the care planning process
- detailed information for providers when establishing individualised budgets and monthly statements with their consumers.
Although the Operational Manual refers to elements of the legislative framework it is important to note that is it not intended to be a source of legal advice.
The Operational Manual will be updated on a regular basis, as the Government continues to embed CDC into the Home Care Packages Programme.
- Newsletter – consumer directed care in Home Care Packages: Part 1
- Newsletter – consumer directed care in Home Care Packages: Part 2
- Newsletter – consumer directed care in Home Care Packages: Part 3
- Aged Care Provider Newsletters
- The Guide to Aged Care Law, which includes information on the rights and responsibilities of providers and consumers.
- Aged Care Subsidies and Supplements
- Aged Care Fees and Charges
- National Translating and Interpreting Services website.
- Factsheet - Information for Home Care Package providers transitioning to consumer directed care (CDC)
- Factsheet - Support for Home Care Package providers transitioning to consumer directed care (CDC)
Home Care Today
Home Care Today – consumer directed care has some useful resources for delivering Home Care Packages on a CDC basis.
The website has been developed by COTA Australia in partnership with aged care peak ACSA and LASA.