Frequently Asked Questions (In-home Aged Care)

Answers to some common questions about in-home aged care services are below - if you don't see an answer to a question you have, please contact us and we'll be happy to help:

What’s the difference between Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and a Home Care Package (HCP)?

CHSP:

This program is considered ‘entry or basic level’ meaning it provides a low level support – it is usually around 2 hours per week and there’s a list of services available through the program (e.g. household help, transport, meal preparation and more).
You’ll have access to those specific services only. It is ideal if you need a little help to do things like heavier household tasks, or perhaps you can no longer drive – either at all or for a short time. It is often used by people returning home from hospital for a short time, but you can also use it permanently.

You pay a subsidised rate (it is subsidised around 75%) from your own pocket, for the services you use. 

The CHSP is not means tested. You will need a referral from My Aged Care to access subsidised in-home support. Please call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422

Home Care Packages:

Packages are designed in levels – from 1 (basic) to 4 (higher needs) and each package has a set amount of funding (called a budget) that you can use for whatever services you require so long as they are within government guidelines and in line with your Care Plan. 

Once you have a package, it is yours until you no longer require it. Should you need more support over time, you may be able to increase the level of package you use e.g. Level 2 to Level 3.
It is much more flexible than CHSP as you can choose what services to spend the budget on – based on your unique situation. Our experienced Case Managers can guide you through a Care Plan and budget and each month you will receive a statement so you’ll know exactly how much money is available. 

Home Care Packages are means tested and you may be asked to make a contribution to your package. This is determined by Centrelink, not by MCCS.

Link to HCP page

What area do you service?

If you live in the Thornton, Beresfield, Woodberry, Maitland, East Maitland, Hexham, Metford, Raymond Terrace, Black Hill, Millers  Forest, Ashtonfield, Cessnock and Wallsend area, we can help you. We have a great team of local staff and volunteers available to help you with the things you need to do.

Will I receive a Home Care Package straight away?

Depending on your assessment and the availability of the government subsidised in-home support, you may be placed on a waiting list.

If you are placed on a waiting list you can still access our services on a fee for service basis while you wait for the subsidised support to become available.

The wait list can be lengthy at times and we encourage people to register with My Aged Care sooner rather than later. please call the MY AGED CARE (MAC)  on 1800 200 422 (over 65 or over 50 ATSI) for a confidential telephone assessment 

If you have been ASSIGNED a Home Care Package, please give us a call Monday – Friday 7.30am – 5.00pm and we can make an appointment to discuss your needs or click here to submit a request for a quote (link to form) 

Who can refer?

With your permission, a friend, family member or your GP can refer you. You can also refer yourself. Please call the MY AGED CARE on 1800 200 422 (over 65 or over 50 ATSI).

Will I have a regular worker?

Small teams are assigned to you to provide your service. This is to ensure, where practical, that the same people provide assistance. You’ll meet the members of your team and they will always have up-to-date information about your circumstances, so you receive seamless support.

At times, due to illness or leave, your regular worker may be unavailable. When this occurs we offer you an alternative worker. In some instances, you may prefer to wait until the worker returns - it's up to you.

Will service be at a regular time?

We operate with morning and afternoon shifts for domestic assistance such as help around the home, or transport for grocery shopping. On the day we can provide a more specific time to reduce the need for waiting around.

If you have a medical appointment, a specific time will be arranged to suit your needs.

What happens to my service if I’m away for a period of time?

Please let us know if you are going away. You can phone or notify us in writing or email and we’ll put the service on hold for an agreed length of time.

It’s important to tell us so we keep the service on hold for your return. If you do not advise us, this may impact on you receiving future services or you may incur a cancellation fee.

Please note 24 hours notice is required to change or cancel regular services. This enables us to reschedule your worker’s duties and help other clients. You may be charged a cancellation fee if we are not advised, other than in an emergency situation such as unexpected hospitalisation.

How much does in-home support cost?

Home Care Packages are assigned a budget for each of the four (4) levels. The cost of services comes out of the budget,  not out of your pocket. If at any time there isn’t enough money left in your budget, you can choose to ‘top up’, ensuring you don’t miss out on vital support. 

Our schedule of fees for HOME CARE PACKAGES is available here:

How often can I access in-home support?

Every person’s situation is different and your Home Care Package will be designed and tailored to your needs and you’re the level (budget) you have. This will determine how often, and the types of services you can access.  

If at any time there isn’t enough money left in your budget, you can choose to ‘top up’, ensuring you don’t miss out on vital support.

What if I need more help?

If your situation changes and you find you need more help, please give us a call. We can help with a referral back to My Aged Care to request the additional support you need. It is not uncommon to start on a lower level package – e.g. Level 1 or 2, and then move to Level 3 or 4 as your needs change. 

We can help you manage this process. Please give your Case Manager a call to discuss.

How do I pay?

The costs of service and support come from your budget, not from your pocket. Each month you will receive a statement outlining the services you have received, the cost of those services and the balance of your budget.

Will I be stuck in some kind of contract?

When you have a Home Care Package, a flexible support plan will be developed with you and can be changed at any time. This gives us permission to provide in-home aged care services to you and security so you know what we will do and when we will do it. There is no exit fee if you want to move your HCP to another provider, however we require 30 days notice in writing. Please note we do not charge review fees during the life of your Home Care Package.

There is no contact for Meals on Wheels (link to page) – you can order as much or as little as you like and need.

Please note if you don't cancel a scheduled service and a worker arrives to find you not home, or you are unwilling to proceed, a fee will be charged, other than in the case of an emergency (e.g. hospital admission).

Will I be able to have services after hours or on weekends?

Depending on your circumstances, assessment, your budget balance and the type of service or support you need, we offer after hours and weekend services. Your Case Manager will discuss the best option for you to keep you safe and well at home.

Please call customer service on 4964 1131, Monday - Friday 7.30am - 5.00pm to discuss your specific needs.

I need transport. Where can you take me?

We provide transport in around the local area as well as to the major hospitals in Newcastle and surrounding areas. 

We may also be able to provide transport to outer areas on request, please phone the office on 4964 1131 to enquire.