Looking to become a Helper? Click here

A dependable support community you can trust

Home Care Package Policy and Legislation

Home Care Packages

Updated 27th November 2023

Australia’s ageing population has led to a significant focus on supportive measures to allow older Australians to live independently in their own homes. Central to this objective is the Home Care Package (HCP) programme, a government initiative designed to cater to the diverse needs of older Australians. Understanding the policies and legislation underpinning this critical service is paramount for both service providers and recipients.

Understanding Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages are part of the Australian Government's commitment to support older Australians who choose to live and age gracefully in their own home. These packages provide various care and services to help with everyday tasks or high-care needs. Packages are provided on a consumer-directed care basis, which means the individual receiving the care has a say in the kind of support they access.

Eligibility and Assessment

To be eligible for a Home Care Package, individuals must be assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. During the assessment, the team determines the level of care required:

  • Level 1: basic care needs
  • Level 2: low-level care needs
  • Level 3: intermediate care needs
  • Level 4: high-level care needs

The Four Levels of Home Care Packages

Level 1 Home Care Package

Designed for those with basic care needs, a Level 1 package often includes support with household tasks, meal preparation, and transport to appointments.

Level 2 Home Care Package

For those with low-level care needs, Level 2 packages can include the same types of services as Level 1, but with additional support services tailored to the individual’s needs.

Level 3 Home Care Package

An intermediate care level assists those with more complex needs, often incorporating personal care, nursing services, and support with medication.

Level 4 Home Care Package

Level 4 caters to those with high-level care needs. At this level, services can include around-the-clock support, advanced personal care, and clinical services as required.

Policy and Legislative Framework

The legislative framework for Home Care Packages is anchored in the Aged Care Act 1997, alongside the Aged Care Principles which are subordinate legislation under the Act. This legislative suite has undergone alterations, notably with the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Act 2013 which introduced significant reforms to improve consumer choice and control.

The Increasing Choice in Home Care (ICHC) Reforms

In February 2017, the Increasing Choice in Home Care (ICHC) reforms were introduced, shifting the control of Home Care Package funds to the consumer. Key elements of the IHC reforms include:

  • Funding for the Home Care Package follows the consumer, giving them the flexibility to choose and change their provider.
  • The approval for a Home Care Package is now for the individual, not a place in a programme, enhancing portability and choice.
  • Establishment of the national prioritisation process, ensuring the equitable allocation of packages based on assessed need and waiting time.

Funding and Fee Structure

Home Care Packages are funded by the Australian Government and contributions from the individual receiving the package. The government subsidy varies depending on the package level, and it is income-tested to ensure equitable distribution of funds.

Consumer Contributions

Contributions can be a basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee for those with a higher income. The basic daily fee is set at a percentage of the single basic Age Pension, while the income-tested care fee is determined by an assessment from the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Quality and Compliance

Providers of Home Care Packages must comply with stringent quality standards to ensure the highest level of care. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is tasked with monitoring compliance with these standards and assessing the performance of providers.

The Aged Care Quality Standards

Providers must adhere to the Aged Care Quality Standards, which include aspects such as consumer dignity and choice, ongoing assessment and planning with consumers, and service delivery and development to meet individual needs.

The Role of Technology in Home Care Packages

Advancements in technology have made a considerable impact on the delivery of Home Care Services. With telehealth, remote monitoring, and other digital tools, providers are now able to offer more flexible and responsive care options.

In Conclusion

As the need for aged care services grows, the policy and legislation governing Home Care Packages must evolve accordingly. It ensures that older Australians receive the support they require to live a dignified and independent life. For many, this is not just a service; it's the key to maintaining their quality of life and connection with their community.

About the Author

Olivia is a seasoned professional with an extensive career spanning the Aged Care sector, bringing decades of experience to her role. Her comprehensive understanding of Aged Care services and practices is a testament to her dedication. Olivia’s gratitude extends to those who have generously shared their knowledge and insights with her over the years, contributing to her wealth of expertise.

Olivia’s articles reflect her commitment to practical and informative content. They skillfully combine her industry know-how with real-world insights, providing valuable resources for navigating the complexities of the Aged Care sector. Olivia stands as a reliable advocate for delivering compassionate and effective care to elderly individuals, offering her support not only to fellow care workers and professionals but also to those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Services Not Included in Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages are a popular and effective means of receiving support for aged care at home in Australia. These packages offer various types of assistance and are designed to help older Austral... read more

How Do I Get a Home Care Package in Australia?

Navigating the complexities of acquiring a Home Care Package in Australia can be challenging. Care and support in the comfort of one’s own home are pivotal for many Australians as they age. I... read more

How Long Does It Typically Take to Receive a Home Care Package?

Understanding the timeline for receiving a Home Care Package is crucial for individuals and families planning aged care services. The process can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, incl... read more

What Are the New Home Care Package Guidelines for 2023?

In recent years, the Australian government has made a series of changes to the Home Care Package (HCP) program to improve the accessibility and quality of in-home support for the elderly. As 2023 u... read more

What Can You Claim on a Home Care Package?

Navigating the complexities of home care packages can be overwhelming for many individuals, especially when determining the types of services that the funds can be applied toward. If you or a loved... read more

What Doesn’t a Home Care Package Cover?

When considering a Home Care Package in Australia, it’s essential to understand that while these packages are designed to provide assistance to older adults living at home, they don’t c... read more

Who is eligible for a Home Care Package in Australia?

Understanding eligibility for a Home Care Package is crucial for Australians seeking support to live independently in their homes despite health challenges or aging. The Home Care Package program i... read more

Why Choose Kinder Caring for Your Home Care Needs?

Contact us today to discover how our personalised care plans can make a significant difference in your life, upholding our commitment to care and compassion.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tradition of Trust & Excellence

At Kinder Caring, we stand as guardians of a 25-year heritage, offering top-notch home care services. Our deep understanding and vast experience make us an ideal choice for those seeking excellence in community care.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tailored Care for Your Lifestyle

We specialise in creating personalised care plans, understanding each client’s unique needs. Our Care Managers ensure every care aspect is bespoke, valuing each individual’s distinct preferences and requirements.

A dependable support community you can trust

Empowering Your Choice

Kinder Caring respects your decision-making freedom. Choose between our in-house experts or skilled independent contractors for care that perfectly fits your lifestyle, providing genuine flexibility.

A dependable support community you can trust

Decades of Service

Over 25 years, Kinder Caring has dedicated over 2.5 million hours to supporting more than 7,400 individuals, reflecting our commitment to impactful, high-quality care.

A dependable support community you can trust

A Community of Professionals

Our team, chosen for skill and compassion, forms the backbone of Kinder Caring. We focus on building a strong, caring team committed to your comfort and well-being.

A dependable support community you can trust

Accreditation & Improvement

Kinder Caring’s adherence to the ACIS and investment in ongoing staff development reflect our commitment to providing care that meets the highest quality and contemporary standards.

A dependable support community you can trust

Building Trusted Relationships

We’re more than care providers; we’re partners in your health journey. With a widespread network and collaborations with funding organisations, we offer accessible, superior care across NSW, QLD & VIC.

A dependable support community you can trust

Join the Kinder Caring Family

Choosing Kinder Caring means joining a family dedicated to your independence and well-being. Be part of our 25-year journey, continuing our legacy of impactful, caring service.

Our happy clients

Bridging the gap between you and an enhanced quality of life, Kinder Caring is committed to nurturing your independence, and delivering compassionate care in the comfort of your home.

A dependable support community you can trust

We’re immensely grateful for Kinder Caring’s assistance over the past months. A special shoutout to Nicole Coupland, who has been an exceptional carer for Mum. Thank you for your unwavering support.

- Carolina,
Willoughby, NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

We are so pleased with the care Dad has been receiving from Kinder Caring, especially from Aster. She has shown professionalism and dedication. We appreciate the company’s flexibility in accommodating our requests, like Aster wearing a mask and gloves. The temporary rail adjustments and the proactive approach in ensuring the best care for Dad is commendable. Thank you, Kinder Caring.

- Karin,
Kealba, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

Kinder Caring has been exceptional in their service. They provided a wonderful carer who is exceptional at what she does. Not only did they promptly get my quote approved, but they also took care of my window cleaning needs and organized transportation for my medical appointments. I couldn’t be happier!

- Maria,
Melton, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

There was so much more to caring for Dad than we ever thought. Kinder Caring provided everything we needed to support us; they became part of our family… they made a difficult time so much easier for us.

- FIONA,
Lindfield NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

A huge thank you to all the nurses at Kinder Caring. Having your expertise, caring attitude and ongoing advice meant we did not have to place Dad into a nursing home or send him to hospital and therefore his last days spent with Mum and the family were very special for us all.

- JOHN,
Mt Waverley Vic

Experience Exceptional Home Care with Kinder Caring!

Unlock 25 Years of Trusted Expertise: 2,500,000+ Hours of Dedicated Care delivered to 7,400+ people from 560,000+ Personalised Services

Your Journey to Peace of Mind Starts Here. Contact Us Today!

1300 796 675