Planning Your Care

The ‘Home Care Today’ project ran from 2013 to June 2017. COTA Australia continues to provide access to Home Care Today resources which were current at June 2017. However they are no longer monitored or updated, and information may not be current.

Your provider will allocate you a case manager or adviser, who will meet with you to make a care plan. The care plan sets out what services you will receive.

Services, support and equipment

You can choose to spend your package funds on most types of services, support and equipment that relate to your care, health and wellbeing. The table below lists some common and some more individual and creative possibilities.

Common itemsOther possibilities
Personal care – showering, dressing, continence managementPodiatry, physiotherapy, counselling, speech therapy, some vision aids, companion pet
Home care – cleaning of house (essential areas), laundry, making bedsProfessional laundering, spring cleaning, therapeutic bed mattress
Shopping assistanceInternet access, iPad, computer equipment, hands-free speaker phone
Transport to appointments, such as medical or even hairdresser (escorted by a care worker)Fuel vouchers or taxi vouchers to use to get around without a worker needing to be present, mobility training on how to use local public transport
Meal preparation, special health-related foodsBasic cooking classes, meal delivery, diabetic magazine subscription
Basic garden and lawn maintenanceMaking raised garden beds, purchase or hire of some equipment and paying towards some modifications at home
In-home respite carePersonal support during travelling or while visiting other locations
Medication promptsWorker to help create photo memory books, go for a stroll in the park, out for coffee, walk the dog
Social activities and programsExercise programs and classes (such as hydrotherapy, yoga, massage, gym, personal trainer, treadmill)

These are only examples – you have a lot of flexibility to choose the services that you want. That can include getting services from another home care service provider or from somewhere else altogether.

However, there are some things you can’t spend package funds on. Things that are excluded are:

  • day-to-day bills for food and alcohol
  • entertainment
  • rent or mortgage payments
  • gambling
  • utility bills
  • things covered by Medicare or pharmaceutical benefits
  • holidays
  • programs already funded or subsidised by the Australian Government.

Making decisions

It’s up to you and your adviser (and others too, if you want) to work out the best way to use your funds to achieve what you want. You make the final decisions, but it’s a partnership process to work out how to make it happen. That’s why your relationship with your provider and your adviser is important. Our Working with Your Provider checklist has pointers for how to get the best support possible.

When you first get a package, making decisions can seem difficult. In the beginning you might let other people make decisions for you, but over time you may wish to make more decisions yourself. Over time you may also want to change your arrangements, like when, where and how often your service is delivered or perhaps who delivers your service. Your adviser will work with you to try to make that happen.

Your care plan

Your care plan will describe the services you have chosen, including:

  • exactly what will be provided
  • who will provide it
  • how often and when
  • cost
  • your contribution
  • your income-tested care fee (if your income is above a certain level)
  • your provider’s charges for managing your package.

VIEW our page: Starting a Home Care Package