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Care Packages

With the current wide-ranging reforms in the provision of Aged Care services across Australia and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Disability Care), the way in which services are provided and funded for people who are frail aged or have a disability is changing rapidly. The Carers Program tries to update these web pages as soon as new information becomes available.

When looking for services for the person for whom you care, you may have heard the term "package" of care. A package is a number of support services delivered together, and provided by the one service provider, for example, personal care, shopping and transport.

When a person's care needs are straight forward, they would usually be referred directly to one service provider to receive a specific service; e.g., personal care (showering and dressing) or domestic assistance (housework). Mainly funded by the HAAC program (Home and Community Care) in the past, from July 2015 these straight forward services will be funded by the new Commonwealth Home Support Program which aims to provide basic low level home support services to a very large population of older people.

However, If a person's care needs require a number of services or are complex and therefore need more management and coordination, they may need a Care Package - Care Packages are most commonly used by elderly people who remain living at home but may also be used by younger people with a disability or by others requiring services on a shorter term basis. At the moment, a person's eligibility and need for a package are usually assessed by an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) worker.

Please note eligibility and waiting times for packages may vary.

Care Packages Arranged From Hospital:
COMPACKS (Community Packages)
COMPACKS offers:

  • Services for a limited time (usually about six weeks)
  • Help with tasks such as personal care, nursing support, shopping, transport, laundry, housework, meal preparation and social support.

COMPACKS provides a temporary package of services to assist the person you care for in their recovery after they have been discharged from hospital. The referral for COMPACKS must be made before the person is discharged from hospital, and services begin after discharge. An ACAT assessment is not needed for COMPACKS but the person does need to be assessed by a COMPACKS worker - these services are provided by SLHD staff but are provided by other agencies elsewhere. Some ComPacks may require a contribution to cost and these may vary between Local Government Areas.

TACP (Transitional Aged Care Package)
TACP offers:

  • Short-term therapy focused programs (up to 12 weeks)
  • Low-intensity therapy, such as physiotherapy, as well as personal care,
  • Nursing support, domestic assistance, social support and transport.

These services may be provided either at home by visiting services or in a Transitional Care Unit. In the SLHD there is a Transitional Care Unit at Balmain Hospital. An ACAT assessment for TACP, while the person is in hospital, is needed.

Participants at home are required to pay a fee of no more than 17.5% of the single pension as a contribution to their care.  Fees for Transitional Care Units are 85% of the single pension.

Care Packages Arranged From Home:
STARTS (Short-Term Aged Response Team) provide short-term case management services (up to four months) for people over 65 to help them remain safely at home. STARTS is organised after a person has been discharged from hospital.

It can help patients to:

  • link up or reconnect to their existing¬† services to help them to keep living safely and independently at home;
  • resettle into their community after being in hospital and
  • connect with long-term services.

You or the person you care for can't receive STARTS if you receive a Home Care Package (level 1-4), Transitional Aged Care Package, ACAT or Regional Assessment Service.

Other Home Packages and Current Changes

New Name Previous Name Type of Care Comment
Level 1 Newly introduced For people requiring fewer or less complex services at home that are nevertheless¬† beyond what current HACC services or the future Commonwealth Home Support Program would provide  
Level 2 Community Aged Care Package (CACP) Coordinated, permanent long term service packages for older people at home similar to low level residential aged care (sometimes still referred to as hostel level care) providing help with personal care, domestic assistance, social support, transport, meal preparation and laundry. Dementia or behaviour supplement added for those requiring dementia-related care
Level 3 Newly introduced Coordinated package at home for people with
mid-level needs
Level 4 Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) Coordinated packages for older people at home with high-level/complex care needs* (Similar to residential aged care, sometimes still referred to as "Nursing Home level care") providing help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) - meals, house cleaning, personal care, laundry as well as in-home respite, registered nursing care, physiotherapy and occupational therapy and social support (outings ,or attending appointments such as hairdresser)  
  Extended Aged Care at Home - Dementia
A higher level package to meet the needs of people with Dementia a new dementia (behaviour) supplement is added to Level 2 packages aimed to provide more appropriate care for people with Dementia

More on Aged Care Reforms
Aged Care service reform is being introduced nationwide over the next few years. These changes began in July 2013 as part of the Australian Government's Living Longer Living Better initiative. The aim in the near future is that elderly people and their Carers will be able to gain access to aged care information and services by one entry point - the My Aged Care online gateway or by ringing 1800 400 422:

Some of the general aims of the reform are to:

  • Replace the current HACC program (and other smaller funding programs) with the Commonwealth Home Support Program, which aims to provide basic level supports to a large range of elderly people and their Carers in a more equitable way.
  • Introduce person centred care across all new Home Care Packages

(Older people and their Carers will be able to have greater say in choices about the types of care services they receive and who, how and when they will be delivered.)

  • Provide both extra and new levels of Home Care Packages
  • Bring in fee arrangements to ensure that people with similar incomes pay similar amounts -if the person you care for can afford to pay, you will be asked to contribute to the cost of your care through an income tested care fee.

While a care recipient's assets, including the family home, remain excluded from the means testing arrangements for basic home care services and packages, means testing for entry into Residential Aged Care Facilities (sometimes still referred to as Nursing Homes or hostels) will include assets.

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