Explainer: Government Funded Home Care Packages

The journey of looking after ourselves as we age, or of providing care for those around us often involves navigating a complex landscape of support options, specially when it comes to understanding government-funded Home Care Packages (HCPs). At Reliant, we are committed to empowering individuals with knowledge and providing transparent access to care services. Here, we aim to demystify HCPs, offering insights and guidance for individuals and their support network seeking the best possible care.

1. What are Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages are government-funded programs designed to support and assist older Australians who wish to maintain their independence in their own homes. Reliant Healthcare offers a range of tailored services, including personal care, domestic assistance, nursing care, and allied health services, to meet those individual needs.

2. Levels of Home Care Packages:

There are four levels of Home Care Packages, ranging from Level 1 (basic care needs) to Level 4 (high-level care needs). Our experienced team at Reliant Healthcare can guide you through the assessment process, ensuring you receive the appropriate level of funding for the services you require.

3. Accessing a Home Care Package:

To access a Home Care Package, the first step is to contact My Aged Care, the government’s central entry point for aged care services. Reliant Healthcare can provide support throughout the assessment process, ensuring your needs are accurately assessed and understood. If you are approved for a HCP, you will be advised of the Level at which you have been assessed.

It is important to note that there is a distinction between being approved for a Home Care Package, and being assigned that Home Care Package. There can be a lengthly delay between being approved for a Home Care Package, and having that package assigned. Many Reliant clients who require immediate assistance opt to receive privately paid services which can commence immediately, while they wait for their their package to be assigned.

4. Cost and Subsidies:

Home Care Packages are subsidised by the Australian government, and Reliant Healthcare is committed to providing transparent information about the associated costs. We can help you understand the different types of fees, including the basic daily fee, income-tested fee, and additional fees for specific services, ensuring you have a clear picture of the financial aspects.

5. Choosing a provider:

Once approved for a Home Care Package, individuals can choose their preferred care provider. This choice empowers them to select a provider that aligns with their values and offers services tailored to their needs. At Reliant, we are dedicated to providing quality care services and transparent guidance throughout the process. We want to be your trusted partner in navigating Home Care Packages, ensuring you or those who are important to you, receive the support they deserve to live a fulfilling and independent life.

Decoding the NDIS

Decoding NDIS Funded Disability Care: FAQ

Navigating the world of NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) can be challenging, but at Reliant, we believe that understanding is the first step towards empowerment. In this guide, we aim to decode NDIS Funded Disability Care, providing answers to common questions and shedding light on the support available for individuals with disabilities.

1. What is NDIS Funded Disability Care?

NDIS Funded Disability Care is a government-funded initiative in Australia aimed at providing support and services for individuals with permanent and significant disabilities. The scheme focuses on empowering individuals to lead an independent and fulfilling life by funding necessary supports and services.

2. Who is Eligible for NDIS Support?

Individuals under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability that substantially affects their ability to participate effectively in everyday activities may be eligible for NDIS support. Eligibility criteria are assessed based on individual circumstances.

3. How Does NDIS Funding Work?

NDIS operates on a person-centered approach, tailoring support plans to meet the unique needs and goals of the participant. Funding covers various supports such as daily activities, transport, therapies, and equipment. The NDIS participant, in collaboration with service providers, decides how the funding is allocated.

4. What Services Does NDIS Fund?

NDIS funding supports a wide range of services, including but not limited to:

  • Daily Personal Activities: Assistance with daily personal activities like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.
  • Therapeutic Supports: Access to allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists.
  • Community Participation: Support to engage in social and recreational activities within the community.
  • Assistive Technology: Funding for aids and equipment to assist with daily living and mobility.

5. How Can Reliant Healthcare Assist with NDIS Funded Disability Care?

At Reliant, we specialise in providing personalised and client-focused NDIS funded disability care. Our experienced team works closely with participants to understand their unique needs and aspirations. We offer a range of services, including personal care, therapeutic support, and assistance with community participation.

6. How Can Families Get Involved in the NDIS Process?

Families can play a crucial role in supporting individuals through the NDIS process. This includes actively participating in planning meetings, sharing insights into the individual’s needs and goals, and collaborating with service providers to ensure the NDIS plan aligns with the participant’s aspirations.

7. How Can Individuals Apply for NDIS Funding?

To apply for NDIS funding, individuals need to submit an access request and provide relevant documentation about their disability. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) assesses the eligibility and, if approved, collaborates with the individual to develop a tailored support plan.

Conclusion

Decoding NDIS Funded Disability Care is about breaking down complex information into practical knowledge, empowering individuals and their families. At Reliant, we are committed to supporting individuals through their NDIS journey, providing compassionate and personalised care that aligns with their unique needs and goals. If you have more questions or seek assistance, feel free to reach out – we are here to help you navigate the path towards enhanced independence and wellbeing.

Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Supported By The Wanderers Foundation And Reliant Healthcare, Are Proud To Launch A New Inclusive Football Program.

Reliant is thrilled to partner with Western Sydney Wanderers FC as they launch a new inclusive football program. For the full article, click here.

The FREE program which will run in 10-week blocks during the school term has been designed to encourage participants aged between 5-12 to get involved with football and feel part of a team.

Open Gala Days will be held for each quarterly block of the School Holidays where participants on a first in first serve basis will be transitioned into the weekly program.

To register for the first Gala Day on 27 January 2022 click here.

Reliant Healthcare provide multiple services all over New South Wales including personal care, NDIS services, companion care and daily activities, dementia, disability, nursing, palliative, respite and live-in care.

Together with the Wanderers Foundation, Reliant Healthcare will be supporting the program for its entirety through providing the opportunity for participants to play football for free every week as well as be supported by leading Wanderers Academy coaches and carers.

Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said he was proud to be launching the inclusion program with Reliant Healthcare.

“The Wanderers pride themselves on being an inclusive and open club, and we are honoured to be working with Reliant Healthcare in establishing the Football Inclusive Program that will be hosted at Wanderers Football Park,” said Tsatsimas.

“We hope that this is the start of many more inclusive programs at the club that make a difference to the Western Sydney community.

Reliant Healthcare General Manager Susan Tredenick said she was delighted to be making an impact in the community.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Wanderers and support their foundation,” said Tredenick.

“The partnership is extremely important to Reliant Healthcare as it enables us to give back to the community and give people of all abilities an opportunity to participate in and enjoy the beautiful game of football.”

The Open Gala Day to find participants for Term 1 of the program will be held at Wanderers Football Park on 27 January 2022 between 3:30 – 5:30pm. You can register to be part of the Gala Day here.

Western Sydney Wanderers FC

MND Week 2-8 May 2021

This week is MND week and Reliant would like to help raise awareness of motor neurone disease (this video provides some info if you’d like to know more), highlight the importance of advocacy and best-practice care, and promote the need for continued research to end MNDMND touches many of our clients’ lives, and this week we are:

  • Donating to the ‘MND Walk to D Feet‘ event being held in the Hunter on behalf of our staff. If you are able, we encourage you to do the same or even better, register to participate (there are events throughout the year)!
  • Writing to relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers requesting fast-track access to Level 3 and 4 Aged Home Care Packages for older Australians with MND.

If you have any questions about MND or know somebody who would like assistance, we’d be delighted to help.

 

Final Report – Aged Care Quality & Safety Royal Commission

Yesterday, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety handed its report to the Australian Government (a summary is available here). While many of the criticisms and recommendations of the report (the report has 148 recommendations in total) are focused on residential care, we have received with great interest those parts of the report specifically focused on home care. Interestingly, both Commissioners found that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission had not demonstrated strong and effective regulation. At Reliant we hold ourselves to the highest standards, and as such we have voluntarily submitted ourselves to assessment by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. This body has fully accredited us until 2024 in recognition of our desire to meet and exceed best practice.

Below please find an article excerpt from Stephen Duckett, Director, Health Program, Grattan Institute and Anika Stobart, Associate, Grattan Institute published on The Conversation which succinctly outlines 4 key takeaways from the report.

4 key takeaways from the aged care royal commission’s final report

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Stephen Duckett, Grattan Institute and Anika Stobart, Grattan Institute

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report into aged care has laid out an extensive plan to overhaul Australia’s aged-care system.

Among the 148 recommendations, the report calls for a new system underpinned by a rights-based Act, funding based on need, and much stronger regulation and transparency.

Over two years, through more than 10,500 submissions and 600 witnesses, the two commissioners heard extensive evidence of a system in crisis. Australians might have expected the commissioners to provide one streamlined blueprint for reform.

But the commissioners diverged on a number of large and some smaller recommendations. This makes the already complex path to reform even more confusing. It reduces the power of the final report. More disappointingly, it gives the government room to pick and choose recommendations as the cabinet likes.

Nonetheless, if the major recommendations are adopted, Australia will get a transformed aged care system over the next five years.

Here are our top four takeaways from this landmark report.

1. Australia needs a rights-based aged-care system

In its recommendations, the final report highlights Australia needs a new Aged Care Act to underpin reform. The new Act should set out the rights of older people, including their entitlement to care and support based on their needs and preferences.

This would be a significant shift away from the current ration-based system, and would bring aged care more in line with the principles of Medicare.

Practically, this would mean the number of people in the system would no longer be capped — the long waiting lists for care would disappear over time. The current aged-care programs, such as home-care packages and residential care, would be replaced by a single program.

Under this new program, all older Australians in need of support would be independently assessed, and allocated care according to their personal needs and preferences — whether at home or in residential care.

This is a huge step forward, and, with the right support, would enable older Australians more choice and control over their care.

2. The system needs stronger governance

Ineffective governance and weak regulation of aged care must end. The final report calls for much stronger governance, regulation of the quality of care, prudential regulation, and an independent mechanism to set prices.

These changes would ensure the “quasi-market” aged-care system, as commissioner Tony Pagone described it, was much better regulated, holding providers to a higher standard of care, and better able to address any service gaps in the system. We might see the introduction of home care in locations where home-care services were not previously available, for example.

This change would require all aged-care providers to be accredited against the new standards. We hope that process would weed out some of the poorest performers in the sector. The new system would have offices across the country, to provide on-the-ground support to older Australians and providers.

Unfortunately, the commissioners diverged on the exact mechanisms for these changes. Pagone wants an independent commission to be responsible for aged care, at arms-length from the health department. Meanwhile, commissioner Lynelle Briggs wants governance to remain with a reformed department, but with quality regulation managed by an independent quality commission.

Given the department’s poor track record on managing aged care, we need to see a major change of culture. We urge the government to accept commissioner Pagone’s recommendation.

3. We need to improve workforce conditions and capability

The final report makes numerous important recommendations to enhance the capability and work conditions of formal carers. It calls for better wages and a new national registration scheme for all personal care workers, who would be required to have a minimum Certificate III training.

Residential care facilities would need to ensure minimum staff time with residents. By July 1 2022, this would be at least 200 minutes per resident per day for the average resident, with at least 40 minutes of that time with a registered nurse.

The facilities would be required to report staffing hours provided each day, specifying the breakdown of residents’ time with personal care workers versus nursing staff.

While these measures are good, they are the bare minimum, and would only give facilities a minimum 2 or 3 star rating. But coupled with recommendations for stronger transparency, including the publication of star ratings and quality indicators to compare provider performance, providers might be incentivised to go above this minimum standard.

4. A better system will cost more

The final report makes a series of complex recommendations about fees and funding, with the commissioners diverging in view as to the specific arrangements. But essentially, the proposed new funding model would provide universal funding for care services, such as nursing.

This means there would be no requirement for aged-care recipients to pay a co-contribution, like public patients in public hospitals. Instead, the expectation is people pay for their ordinary costs of living, such as cleaning, subject to a means test and up to a maximum amount in residential care.

A carer holds the hand of an elderly person.
A rights-based system means funding is determined by each individual’s needs.
Shutterstock

These changes would coincide with the phase-out of the burdensome refundable accommodation deposits, which some residents currently pay as a lump sum to providers when they enter residential care. This approach is a shift away from the current muddled set of means-tested arrangements, and may help offset some of the additional spending needed to pay for a rights-based system.

Unfortunately, the report does not touch on how much the recommended changes would cost. Australia should be prepared to pay the price of a better aged care system.

The government has been underspending on aged care. Most Australians agree the government should provide more funding for aged care. Commissioner Briggs has the more persuasive proposal for funding the new system. She wants the government to introduce legislation by July 1 2022 that establishes an aged-care improvement levy of 1% of taxable personal income.

Commissioner Pagone is weaker on this point. He wants the Productivity Commission to investigate the establishment of an hypothecated aged-care levy (meaning the money raised by the levy can only be spent on aged care).

Either approach will be politically difficult, but Australians should demand their government lock-in a secure funding supply. That will help produce an aged-care system that protects the rights, upholds the dignity, and celebrates the contribution of all older Australians.The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

We Won Gold at the 2019 LGBTI Inclusion Awards!

Last week we received the great news that Reliant has received the Gold Service Provider Award for the Health and Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI) at the 2019 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards. This award is the national benchmark for LGBTI inclusive service provision in Australia. We are committed to continuously improving our knowledge of and service to the LGBTI community. We are very proud to have received this award and we will continue to strive to maintain an inclusive and safe environment for our clients. Congratulations to all our team!

Reliant achieved Gold status in the 2019 Health + Wellbeing Equality Index.

Why we are hopeful about the Aged Care Royal Commission

We are being asked for our thoughts constantly on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which begins hearing evidence this week in Adelaide. People are surprised when we tell them we are not only thrilled that some of the issues to be examined by the Commission have finally come to the fore, but we are excited that the findings of the Royal Commission will no doubt impose more carefully policed reporting and other obligations on health and aged care providers and result in increased scrutiny – as it should be. More importantly though, this Royal Commission should result in some constructive recommendations to providers based on the submissions made by organisations like ours who pride themselves on safe, innovative and inclusive service delivery.

At Reliant, we enjoyed the process of putting our response together. With a clean track record and a true commitment to safe, quality and consumer-directed care, we were able to reflect and feel proud of the way we do business and look after our valued clients. Providing a response has also allowed us to make some suggestions, based on experiences we have had in dealing with other organisations where we have seen examples of substandard care.

We are thrilled at the positive emphasis of the Royal Commission – actively seeking suggestions for change and improvement across the industry and asking providers to self-reflect and provide information on what they could have done better in the past and what they may need assistance with for the future to ensure they do not let down older Australians, a generally underrepresented and undervalued community.

No doubt there will be shocking revelations as the Commission takes evidence in the coming  months. The important thing to remember is that solid and reliable providers are out there, and hopefully the standard of care across the board will improve so that everyone can have experiences like those of our clients.

The Royal Commission is accepting public submissions, which can be submitted anonymously. We would encourage anyone who feels they can make a valuable contribution to consider making a submission. There is a link here, or please feel free to get in touch with us if we can help in any way.

A National Plan

At Reliant we see our role as central in ensuring that our elders live their best lives – with dignity and independence.

This week we were honoured to attend the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference in Sydney, along with leaders from government, academia, law, healthcare leaders and trailblazers. Although only the 5th time this conference has been held, attendance reached over 560 delegates and it is heartening that elder abuse in Australian society is increasingly gaining mainstream attention.

Also significant was that at the conference the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Christian Porter MP announced Australia’s first National Plan to address elder abuse (which was a key recommendation of the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission Report Elder Abuse – a National Legal Response). Stimulating discussion and presentations from a range of speakers, from Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG to Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP made for a very thought-provoking 2-day conference. Our sincere thanks to the Seniors Rights Service for such a fantastic event.

We were proud to play a role in developing the final conference statement, an extract of which you can read below.

“Our call to action to all governments in Australia: there is no excuse not to act nationally NOW against Elder Abuse.

Come together to create and fully resource the strong, effective, nationally consistent and accountable change needed to:

  • Create respectful cultures that value older people within our diverse country and communities (a whole of community shift) to prevent an epidemic of abuse against older people
  • Deliver early intervention and empower older people
  • Support and safeguard those older persons experiencing abuse.

Involve older people and all the key stakeholders in developing the National Plan to address Elder Abuse to ensure all older people experience dignity, their rights and personal wellbeing as a daily way of life.”

A moment to say thank you…

As a healthcare company that provides workers to help support and care for our clients we would like to take a moment to pay respect and acknowledge the amazing work that the 2.7 million unpaid carers contribute to healthcare. Without carers, people who need support due to illness, disability, mental health, addiction or other problems would be lost.
 
It is due to their dedication and perseverance, which we are sure many of these carers are unaware they possess, that the health of numerous people in our society manages to stay stable.
 
As a company we have been privileged to work alongside and support the amazing contribution of the carer to help our clients engage in a life that that can live. Sometimes our work comes in the shape of well-earned respite, the giving back of the role of family member or to bring some order in an often stressful or unsustainable situation. Before this point, however, it is the pivotal role of the carer that should be noticed and acknowledged.
 
For us then to take a moment during National Carers Week to pay respect and be in awe of the dedication that carers show to their family members or friends is the very least that we can do.
 
As part of National Carers Week there are many activities that are happening throughout NSW. Have a look at the Carers NSW website for activities that may be close to you. 

LGBTI Ageing Health Outcome Strategy

Dr Justin Koonin, Alexandra Conroy, Kathryn Greiner, Auntie Millie Ingram at the launch of ACON's Ageing Health Outcomes Strategy  2017-2021
Dr Justin Koonin, Alexandra Conroy, Kathryn Greiner, Auntie Millie Ingram at the launch of ACON’s Ageing Health Outcomes Strategy 2017-2021

We were very proud to help launch ACON’s new Ageing Health Outcome Strategy 2017-2021 which outlines the health disparities, and needs, of older members of the LGBTI community. We were invited to share our experiences in catering for the needs of our older LGBTI clients. 

The Productivity Commission’s 2011 report, Caring for Older Australians, recommended an emphatic focus on consumer-directed choice in aged care, highlighting the need for the system to be overhauled so it could accommodate not only a significant increase in numbers, but also a more diverse range of seniors with a less homogenous set of requirements. The Ageing Strategy will seek to develop healthy ageing programs, including those to address social isolation, increase uptake of healthy ageing behaviours, and to support self-management skills and capacity for self-advocacy.

Reliant  provides truly consumer directed care and place huge emphasis on enabling people to live their lives as they choose and to facilitate that choice. We are proud of our commitment to encouraging clients to be themselves and of our service to our clients who are members of the LGBTI community.