Two days ago (17/12/2018), just in time for Christmas, the Government announced good news for two groups of older Australians:
- seniors who are already in receipt of a Home Care Package, Level 1, 2 or 3 will have their Basic Daily Care Fee reduced; and
- 10,000 seniors who have been waiting on the National Queue to receive in home aged care, paid for by their Government Subsidised Home Care Package, will now be assigned (receive) their Home Care Package
1) Reduced maximum Daily Care Fee for Existing Level 1, 2 or 3 Home Care Package Clients
Existing Daughterly Care clients who currently have a Level 1, 2 or 3 Home Care Package, the Government has announced that it will reduce your Basic Daily Care Fee in 2019.
The maximum Basic Daily Care Fee is currently $10.43 a day, which is $146.02 per fortnight, per person or $3,806.95 a year, per person. (This represents 17.5% of the single person basic age pension. This rate increases on the 20th March and the 20th September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension).
The Government has decided to reduce this fee by:
|Level 1||$400 annual reduction / 365 days = $1.10 per day|
|Level 2||$200 annual reduction / 365 days = $0.55 per day|
|Level 3||$100 annual reduction / 365 days = $0.27 per day|
|Level 4||No Reduction|
How will the reduction be implemented?
The Government will tell us what date the reductions starts on and from that date we will reduce the Basic Daily Care Fee we charge you by Direct Debit each month, and the Government will pay us the amount you no longer need to pay.
- your Home Care Package funding will NOT reduce, despite you paying less; and
- your hours of care, paid for by your Home Care Package, will stay the same.
What if I am not paying a Basic Daily Care Fee?
Even if you are not paying a Basic Daily Care Fee, the Government will still pay us the discount for you, so your Home Care Package funding will increase by the figures in the table above.
Why did the Government reduce the maximum Basic Daily Care Fee?
They wanted to acknowledge and compensate for the increased cost of living that Elders are experiencing.
What action do you need to take?
You don’t need to do anything.
The Basic Daily Care Fee Reduction for Home Care Package Levels 1, 2 and 3 will flow through automatically when the Government increases their payment to us and we will send you a personalised letter with your first invoice that is reduced. Your hours will not reduce.
2) 10,000 new high care Home Care Packages starting early 2019
The Government has decided to make an additional 10,000 high care Home Care Packages available between early 2019 and 30 June 2019.
5,000 of the Home Care Packages will be Level 3 and 5,000 will be Level 4.
Every month, a number of Daughterly Care Community Services Home Care Package clients are UPGRADED from the low care Home Care Package they were given (assigned) – commonly a Level 2, up to a higher Home Care Package with more funding, commonly a Level 3 or 4.
You can see the 4 different funding levels in this table:
|Consumer Directed Care Package||Home Care Package Per annum p/person||10% Supplement* Per annum p/person||Total Govt. Subsidy Per annum p/person|
*A 10% pa supplement is payable for the following conditions:
1. Cognition supplement or
2. Veterans’ mental health supplement
3. Oxygen supplement
4. Enteral Feeding supplement.
There are also Viability and Hardship supplements.
A drop in the ocean
Over 120,000 older Australians are on the National Queue waiting to receive in home care at their approved level or at a lower level, so there is no doubt that these 10,000 extra high care Level 3 and Level 4 Home Care Packages are very welcome. But realistically it is just a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed and needed now.
In our experience Elders are waiting 2 years to receive their approved high care level Home Care Package.
What action do you need to take?
1) Keep an eye out for a letter from My Aged Care stating your loved one has been upgraded or assigned their Home Care Package so that you can claim the package quickly. I personally would ring My Aged Care and ask “how many days until my parent will receive their Approved Home Care Package Level.“
2) If your spouse or parent has declined since they were assessed by ACAT, I strongly recommend you ring My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and tell them how your spouse or parent has declined.
Don’t make this phone call in front of your spouse or parent as it will make them feel like a burden.
Examples of declines My Aged Care needs to know about could include:
- Recent unplanned hospitalisations (because the international evidence is that in home care can prevent hospitalisations, not all of course, but many)
- Recent falls
- Recent diagnosis of any chronic ongoing condition e.g. Dementia, Parkinson’s
- Main carer not coping with their carer workload or has become unwell. Any adult child carer has moved away so less support available
- Any incontinence that has started
- Any dangerous behaviour such as going for a walk and failing to return home
- Being diagnosed as legally blind
- Loss of ability to drive to shops for food etc
- Significantly increased frailty
For busy adult children, My Aged Care is open until 8pm weeknights and until 2pm on Saturdays for you to call.
3) If you have NOT applied for a Home Care Package – you really need to get on the waiting list (National Queue) because in the real world, commonly it is now a 2 year wait to receive a high care Home Care Package (Level 3 or 4).
Also the Royal Commission into aged care starts in February 2019 and you are going to hear lots of heart breaking experiences older people and their children have lived. Older people will want to stay at home and avoid the Nursing Home even more once poor Nursing Home care is on the news and in papers every day.
TIP: Your parent might be relying solely on family members and saying “I don’t need help, I have you”.
Just say “Mum/Dad, I know you don’t need extra help now because you have Tod, Andrew and me helping you.
There will come a time when you need more help than we give you, so we want you on the waiting list so that we can get that extra help when you do need it.
Mum/Dad there are over 120,000 older Australians currently on the waiting list, so we need to get you on there too.
When you get to the top of the waiting list, you don’t have to take the Home Care Package, you can say “no thanks, for the moment”. But it is safer to be on the waiting list for Government Funded in home help than not on their waiting list.
It’s a safety net, Mum/Dad, to help you stay at home longer.”
Enjoy Christmas and New Year with your family. Don’t talk about ‘care’ with your parents or spouse.
Don’t talk about what they can’t do … instead gift them another love-filled joyful Christmas with their family. Time is the greatest gift you can give. Time to sit and watch the Carols and hold hands. Time to cook a delicious meal. Time to say “I love you” … this is all that matters now for 2018.
Straight after the Festive Season is over call My Aged Care so that 2019 is an even better year for all the family:
- Get Elders on the waiting list for their aged care safety net called a Government Subsidised in Home Care Package.
- Call My Aged Care if your loved one is already on the waiting list – advise of declines, ask how many days until the approved package will be assigned and keep an eye out for a letter from My Aged Care notifying an upgrade or assignment.
Help your older friends and family because most older people who need in home aged care do NOT know about the Government’s Home Care Package Program. Send them a link to this page or print out relevant pages from our Definitive Guide to Government Funded Consumer Directed in Home Aged Care Packages.
How long has your loved one been waiting for their approved Home Care Package?
Tell me below in the comments how long your loved one has been waiting, not to be offered a package 2 levels lower than they were approved for, but for their actual approved level.
Recent Updates to our Definitive Guide to Home Care Packages
I recently updated section 2 of our Home Care Package guide on our website, see box below.
And yes, self-funded elders are eligible for a Government Subsidised Home Care Package.
Daughterly Care CEO & Co-Founder