Elderly Australians needing extra help & assistance to live at home, regardless if that’s help with things such as gardening maintenance, bathing, occupational therapy, or transport, now have greater choice when it comes to the level of government-funded care they can receive.
This is where applying for a home care package is useful to ensure you or your loved one can receive the care that they require in their own home.
But where would you begin applying for a home care package?
You begin by researching the various home care providers that are available in your state. But which one is right for your loved one? And what warrants the right home care provider?
This article will discuss everything you need to know about home care providers and the home care packages they offer.
What is a Home Care Package?
Before we begin discussing how to choose the right home care provider, we think it’s beneficial to discuss what exactly a home care package is.
Essentially, it’s a tailored list of government-funded home care services that helps older people live their life without the need to be placed in an aged care home.
The federal government funds four levels of care each with varying degrees of funds available, care, and services. In 2016, there were almost 80,000 packages funded at a cost of $1.49 billion AUD.
Home care packages are consumer directed which means that older people are able to choose the home care services that apply to them rather than being instructed as to what services they’ll be receiving as they would in residential aged care.
Furthermore, they are grounded in flexibility to ensure that as the person’s needs change, then so does the home care package.
Some people may prioritise a clean & tidy home or taking their medication, others want to ensure their garden is well kept. There might be some who need assistance with their shopping and meal preparation.
Prior to 2017, the Australian government would allocate these packages to home care providers.
Once an older person had successfully applied for a home care package, it was difficult to change if the person moved or their needs changed.
But this is now no longer the case and home care recipients can adjust who their home care provider is from the actual carer through to the home care agency.
How To Choose
Here are five points to consider when making your choice for the home care provider that you wish to work with.
Home Care Costs & Fees
Every home care agreement will have various costs & fees (including exit fees) associated with the level of home care package services provided.
It’s important that you or your loved one understands these costs and what they entail.
It’s always a good idea to have a friend or family member who can carefully explain this to you given the process can often be tricky.
Your Home Care Services
You should always start by listing what you or your loved one are looking for in your home care services.
This could include everything and anything from availability to the staff providing the care itself, and the actual services provided.
It’s worth noting that there are some home care providers out there that provide specific care services that are cheaper and more flexible than others.
What’s Available Near You
You can start looking for care providers near you by calling MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422 or by using their search function on their aged care website.
Time To Do Your Own Research
When it comes to time talking to the various home care providers near you, we’d recommend asking about the following:
- Fees – how much does each provider charge for admin & case management fees; hourly rates and basic daily fees for the various home care services such as allied health, personal care, etc; the percentage of subsidisation from the government
- Staff – whether the provider employs their own staff or they contract out to an agency; the level of training and qualifications from their care coordinators; the level of training provided to their staff
- Visitations – how often will the care coordinator visit and speak with you; how regularly is the home care plan reviewed
When you’ve finally settled on your home care provider, be sure to negotiate a home care agreement. You can also negotiate on your daily fee contribution.
Then decide what you will use your home care package for and what you might pay for privately.
The Application Process Can Be Confusing
Don’t stress if you’re finding the application process a little daunting.
This is why working with a case manager who has significant experience in navigating the application process is worth your while.
You can also use various websites available to you when trying to find the right home care provider for you.
The case managers will work with you every step of the way answering any questions you might have about the process, the fees, what the home care packaged funds entitle you to, the wait time on an outcome, and more.
This will no doubt alleviate any concern or stress you might have when going through the application process.
If you would like to hear more about how Accent Home Care can assist you with a higher level of home care, call us on (03) 8720 1338 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.