Can I manage my own Home Care Package?

Wondering if you can manage your own Home Care Package? Here's what you need to know.

Haisey Home Care
November 21, 2022
x min read

Home Care Packages are designed to help older (and disabled) Australians live as independently as possible, regardless of their challenges. They offer flexible options tailored to the user's particular needs- and this flexibility extends to your options for managing your package.

You CAN manage your own Home Care Package. Whether this is the best option for you will depend on your skills and your priorities. This article will tell you what self-managing entails and give you all the information you need to decide whether it is right for you.

What is self-managed?

You have 3 choices regarding how your Home Care Package is managed.

  1. Fully managed means that the package provider takes care of everything for you, including finding your cleaners, your gardeners, your health professionals, and any others who may be needed to help you.
  2. Part managed, meaning you still have a service provider to manage your funds, but you take some responsibility- for choosing your support workers etc. (more!)
  3. Self-managed means the choices and administration are all down to you- meaning you choose all your support workers, plus you are responsible for the scheduling and budgeting etc.

How do I do this?

Don't worry, self-managing doesn't mean you will be left doing it all alone!

You will still have regular contact with your providers to ensure you are getting the care and services you need.

Self-managing means you will be more active in organising the day-to-day tasks of your package.

Also, you don't have to completely self-manage- you are able to choose the tasks you want to manage and you can pay for someone to administer the rest. 

Your service provider is still obligated to help you when self-managing; including how to self-manage your package and how to access your home care funds balance.

Is self-managing best for me?

There are pros and cons to self-management. 

The pros of self-managing your funds

The pros are that you can save money on the management fees that service providers charge (which can sometimes be up to 35% of your funding package).

Keeping as much independence as possible, via self-management, ensures you do just that.

You have more choice and control, plus more of your funds go towards the help you need, as opposed to paying for the administration of it.

You want to feel comfortable with the people that are in your home and self-management keeps you in control of who comes and when- you are just charged the rate set by the provider.

If you are a good organiser and not daunted by the prospect of the administration side of things, self-management makes sense as a good way to ensure as much of your Home Care Package funding as possible goes towards the help you need, with less used for admin fees.

The cons of self-managing your funds

However, self-management is certainly not for everyone.

As opposed to letting your case manager arrange and organise all your care for you, self-management can be a time-consuming process.

  • Choosing and vetting staff.
  • Scheduling. 
  • Managing your budget, and your invoices etc. 
  • Sorting any care plan reviews.
  • Managing any disputes with support workers or payments. And arranging emergency help in the event of support worker illnesses.

While self-management certainly has its advantages, it has these obvious drawbacks too.

In fact, for some people, the nature of their illness or challenge might make it simply untenable. If you are developing dementia, for example. 

In more extreme cases like this, you do still have the option of a family member managing on your behalf. Thereby, ensuring your care needs are met, while minimising how much is spent on fees.

The best option for you will depend on your skills, your circumstances and your priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do self-managed Home Care Packages work?

A self-manageable Home Care Package allows you to select and hire your own service providers and healthcare practitioners directly. ~This includes choosing and managing them yourself.

What can Home Care Package funds be used for?

A personal care package will be tailored for each individual depending on their specific needs. It could involve anything from basic hygiene products to specialized medical equipment.

Services it can be used to fund include:

  • Medical care
  • General housework ie cleaning and tidying
  • Companionship
  • Meal preparation
  • Grooming, hygiene and personal needs
  • Shopping and ordering goods online (relevant to care needs)
  • Dementia care
  • Travel support
  • Household organisation

What does a home care manager do?

They meet with you to discuss your care plan and options, then develop a comprehensive Care Plan for you to use your package funds on the health services you need. They will keep checking up on you as often as you want them to, and undertake an annual re-assessment of your Care Plan as you may need different things at different times.

They have many other responsibilities, such as ensuring your service meets quality requirements, scheduling and organising your care, as well as managing payments, charges, and services.

What is the difference between CHSP and Home Care Packages?

The CHSP is designed for older people with basic needs. It is regarded as a lower-level service than the HCP. The HCP also offers more coordinated and specialised assistance than services provided by the CHSP.

Can I cancel my Home Care Package?

To terminate your current Home Care Agreement, simply notify your current care providers that you no longer want their services. You can send them an email, but be sure to include the date you wish to cancel your contract.

If you want to stop receiving services because you need other support services or want to receive them from a different provider, you need to call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

For more details, please refer to our article on self-managing your plans or contact us here.