What can home care package funds be used for?

Senior woman in wheelchair smiles outside of home

A report by Steward Brown has found there is now $2.1 billion of unspent funds from home care packages across Australia. The report also found the average unspent funds per client has increased to average $10, 736 (FY21 $9,855).

Unspent funds accumulate when an individual’s support plan does not use all the money available under their current Home Care Package level.

Unspent funds build up if the person:

  • is planning for future events
  • has received an automatic package upgrade and does not use the funds
  • has taken leave from care
  • has a personal situation that improves.

What can I spend my Home Care Package on?

While different types of support, for example personal care, support for social activities, respite care and domestic assistance for things like house cleaning, is ultimately something you agree upon with your Approved Provider, and is set out in your care plan, you have a lot more choice and scope than you may realise.

When it comes to accessing home care services with your package funds, understanding what supports these can be spent on, as well as how home care packages are funded by the government, is important.

My Aged Care provides a good overview of services:

  • Personal care (such as bathing, maintaining personal hygiene)
  • Nursing care
  • Therapies to maintain movement and mobility
  • Meal preparation
  • Chores around the house such as cleaning, laundry, etc.
  • Support with social activities to help the person stay engaged with their community
  • Transport support
  • Home or garden maintenance
  • Support managing particular conditions to help the person live independently at home.

The full list of home care services is provided in the Quality of Care Principles 2014 on the Federal Register of Legislation website, Schedule 3 – Care and services for home care services.

There are also package supplements available for specific care needs:

The Dementia and Cognition Supplement provides 10% additional funding for home care recipients with “moderate to severe levels of cognitive impairment associated with dementia or other conditions.“ This is available with any of the four Home Care Package levels.

The Veterans’ Supplement provides 10% additional funding, also on top of the Home Care Package, for veterans with a mental health condition related to their service.

Learn more about what services can be included in your home care package funding and what services aren’t. You can also explore Mable’s comprehensive guide to home care packages. Understanding what Home Care Package funds will help understand what you can spend your funding on, and make better use of it.