What Is A Home Care Package?

A home care package is a flexible collection of different services that can be offered to individuals who wish to live in their own home, but because of their age, may need additional help looking after themselves.

The services will be provided by an independent provider and will be paid for by the Australian government, although the individual may be asked to contribute, depending upon their means and circumstances.

Home care

It is to everyone's benefit that individuals can live in their own homes for as long as possible. This becomes more difficult the older they get, and the more dependent they become upon other people to help them meet their needs.

A home care package can be put in place after an initial assessment, and should be focused on the needs of the individual that they feel are important, not necessarily what the provider thinks should be in place.

There are some limitations on what services can be provided. These range from help with expenditure on items that would be considered day-to-day spending, to travel and holidays and gambling activities.

Home care services

The intent behind all service provisions is to help the individual remain independent and to be able to carry on living on their own in their own home for as long as possible.

Personal care

This is one of the most common areas of care that is provided, and normally includes help with areas such as having a bath or shower, getting dressed or undressed, helping someone in or out of bed and helping to remind people about taking their medication.

The level of personal care may vary considerably from person to person and can be quite sensitive, given the nature of the help involved.

Nursing care

Nursing care will be provided when a person needs help in managing their medical condition at home. This may be on a short-term basis, such as following an operation in a hospital, where a care package is put in place following discharge, for a few weeks or months until the person is fit enough to resume their normal life.

Nursing care may also be provided on a longer-term basis to help someone manage a medical condition that may need ongoing involvement with a clinical team, but is not serious enough to warrant a stay in the hospital, or living in a care home where there is a permanent medical team available.

This is likely to include help with such areas as deteriorating eyesight or hearing, problems with continence, foot care and problems with mobility.

Both types of nursing care will be assessed and monitored on an ongoing basis, and if any appropriate adjustments to the level of care package are needed, then the provider will make the changes necessary.

Helping with food preparation

Historically this service was referred to as meals on wheels, but the level of involvement that is offered to people nowadays is much more tailored to the needs of the individual.

It is generally recognised that it is really important that people continue to eat properly as they get older, and this can become harder to do for several reasons. Often people see food preparation as a bit of a chore, or simply rely on convenience foods or takeaways.

The service offered with food preparation can work at different levels. Sometimes it is helping the individual to buy their food, sometimes to help cook it or to cook it for them. Food delivery packages can also be available, tailored to the individual's need and prepared to their specifications.

This service can sometimes be provided daily, or less frequently if wanted, with meals prepared and stored as frozen, and individuals able to reheat or microwave their meal when needed.