Home care FAQs
Find the answers to frequently asked questions, with insights into service costs, different ways we can help you enjoy living independently at home, and more.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package is an allocation of funds from the government to put towards your health and wellbeing. You will need to be assessed as being eligible for a Home Care Package and then the amount of money allocated will be in accordance with your needs.
Can you help me manage my Home Care Package?
Yes. We are very skilled at helping people with Home Care Packages. We know the system well and have a lot of experience managing the rules and regulations, the budget, paying bills for services and all the other paperwork.
I have been using another provider for my Home Care Package. Can I transfer to Mercy Health to provide my services?
Yes. You are free to decide who provides your services and we would love to help you.
Do you charge a Home Care Package exit fee?
Yes. The exit fee is a charge approved by the government to cover the administrative process for the provider when a client leaves the service. The exit fee is $510.
What is Care Advisory?
This is a service provided by our Care Advisors. They help you get started with services and make sure they are coordinated along the way. This takes all the worry away from you and your family.
Our Care Advisors help you understand the aged care system so you can make decisions on how to spend your funds and use your budget in the most effective way.
What is CDC ?
CDC stands for Consumer Directed Care. It is the framework for the approach to all home care services. It means you, as the person receiving care, make the decisions about what care you receive based on what matters to you, rather than a service provider deciding what you can have or what they think you need.
How does Consumer Directed Care work?
To ensure you’re more in control of your care and support services, Consumer Directed Care means:
- You have a budget allocated for your Home Care Package and you decide how the funds are spent.
- You receive a regular statement showing the amount of funds remaining and how much you have spent on specific services.
- If some funds are unspent, they may be saved for use at another time.
- We work in partnership with you to choose the services you need, but you remain in control of how much support or advice you would like.
Find out more at My Aged Care, or give us a call to discuss what Consumer Directed Care could mean for you.
Do all your staff have police checks?
Yes. All staff have police checks. Staff working with people under 18 years have a Working with Children Check. Our staff in the ACT meet the requirements of the Working with Vulnerable People Check.
What level of training do your staff have?
All staff providing ‘hands on’ care have a certificate 3 or 4 in a relevant field as a minimum level qualification. All nurses have current registration. Every member of our team completes annual compulsory training and our Learning Manager provides education sessions on relevant topics across the year.
Can you help me with my pets?
Yes. We know your pets are important to you. Our focus is on assisting you with what you need to do in your day, and that may include what you do for, or with, your pet. We can help you walk, feed or play with your dog, cat, fish or birds, or any other pets that are part of your family.
Can you help me on the weekend or after hours?
Yes. We visit in the evenings, can arrange overnight or 24 hour care, and provide services 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
How long does it take to get in-home care services started?
If you need help in a hurry we can organise services to start the next day, however most services start within two to five days to make sure we can find the right care team member for you. The staff at your local service centre will be able to provide more information based on your particular situation and requirements.
Can I choose my own care team?
Yes. We try to match your preferences in relation to your care team. We know some people prefer male or female staff, people with particular language abilities or other skills. We recommend you choose a small team rather than one worker, so you have more than one person who knows you and understands what you like.
What happens if there is a medical emergency?
Our staff are trained in first aid and basic life support so we can provide immediate assistance if needed while waiting for an ambulance. We have our own after-hours service that can help our staff respond to any situation that may occur overnight or on weekends.
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
No. We can help anyone, anytime. Just contact us.
Can you help with holidays and day trips?
Yes. Just let us know what you are planning and we will work with you to make it happen. Each situation is different so we are flexible and will consider the welfare of you and our staff.
Can you assist people with memory loss or dementia?
Yes. We have experience providing services to people with memory loss, dementia and other conditions affecting behaviour and mood.
Can you assist family carers?
We can assist family and other care givers to take a break, return to work or study, enjoy some leisure time or catch up with friends. Many family members appreciate a chance to enjoy time with the person they care for, while we take over some of the chores.
Can you help me get to appointments or other places?
Yes. Our team can provide transport to medical appointments, other appointments such as the hairdresser, social or family functions and just about anywhere else you would like to go.
Can you assist people living in supported accommodation?
Yes. Sometimes some extra help is useful. If a key family member is going on holidays, we can step in for that period of time. A short term illness—for either you or your family—may mean that some extra hours of dedicated care would help.
Do I have to be Catholic to choose Mercy Health as my provider?
No. Mercy Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit organisation that provides services to people of all faiths and no faith. We welcome everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or religion. This applies to our recruitment of team members as well. The Mercy Health values of compassion, hospitality, respect, innovation, stewardship and teamwork are key to who we are and what we do.
How much do services cost?
The costs associated with your care will vary depending on your needs, so there is no one size fits all answer to this question. You may be eligible for government-subsidised funding for aged care services, such as a Home Care Package, or another funding option which reduces or removes any cost to you.
Free eligibility assessments for government-subsidised services are offered by the Aged Care Assessment Service; you can organise an assessment at the My Aged Care website. My Aged Care is the Commonwealth Government body responsible for aged care services.
Our fees reflect the quality of our service. We are not the cheapest, and we are certainly not the most expensive service provider. We are committed to being transparent in our fee structures and we stand by our value for money and quality of care.
Read about our fee policies.
What funded programs are available to help pay for services?
Mercy Health is an approved aged care provider. We deliver a broad range of programs which are either subsidised or fully funded by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.
Funded programs include:
- Home Care Packages.
- The National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- Veterans’ Home Care.
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Community Nursing.
- Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
Some funded programs only operate in specific areas. Please contact your local service centre for more information.