5 Tips for Choosing The Best Home Care Provider For Your Needs

Since Consumer Directed Care (CDC) was introduced in 2015, you are able to choose your home care provider and the services and care you receive.  The CDC model allows you to contact your preferred home care providers and decide the best provider for you before your home care package starts and to change home care providers if you are not happy with the services you currently receive.

The CDC Home Care package allows more choice for you and together with your Care Coordinator you can tailor the range of services you decide are best for your health, wellbeing and lifestyle needs and goals.

Asking the right questions of a home care provider will help you find the best home care provider for you

All home care providers have to provide care plans, trained staff and a range of services, however there are differences between providers and to find the provider best suited to your care needs you may need to make contact with a few before you make a decision.

Following are some questions or areas of interest you can look into with home care providers in your area.

Ask if you get to choose your Allied Health Services Support

Some home care providers may use their own allied health service professionals as part of your home care package. You may end up having to change your podiatrist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist who has had many years of history with you and knows your physical constitution.

If it is important for you to maintain your current health services, then you need to ensure your home care provider can allow you to continue with your chosen health care practitioners.

Ask about your home care provider’s understanding of different cultures – do they have an understanding of your cultural background and needs?

For your wellbeing, you want people around you that are accepting and respectful of your personal and spiritual beliefs and will support you to maintain them as much as you need.

Ask about the people that will be looking after you and how much cultural awareness exists in the home care teams. Find out about their other clients and the range of cultural backgrounds they work with and what they know about them.

Communication and Reviews can mean reaching your lifestyle goals and knowing your provider is willing to be adaptable to your needs

Ask questions about how communication and feedback is handled. How often is your home care plan reviewed to meet your changing needs and how this communicated with you and your family and carer.  Another area of concern may be times for you to call if you need anything and what hours are they available? If you need to provide some feedback or make a complaint, find out what their procedures are.

The communication channels that are available between you and your home care provider will help you feel more comfortable and that you have a voice in the organisation should you need to discuss anything about your care plan.

Make sure you understand your privacy and confidentiality and your rights and responsibilities. Look for an up front, open and honest approach to these requests and make sure that your care workers understand these and can discuss them with you in normal everyday language.

Ask about Your Care Plan and what is involved. It is in the detail that your needs will be met.

Ask about the holistic approach to your care plan, is your home care provider offering you both care and services to meet your home care goals.  Is there a combination of care and services offered to meet your home care goals?    You need to feel your home care provider is willing to meet your emotional social and care needs.  Getting the best home care is not always about getting the most hours of care for your budget it is about the quality of care.

Your needs may vary at different times as do your care needs, you need to feel your home care provider is agile and able to listen to what you need.  For example you may need more care when family carers are away or you may need more care after a hospital stay.

During the process of putting together your health care plan, the level of communication and attention to detail will indicate how the home care provider listens to your needs and how they offer the best solutions to your care needs.

Ask about the fees – administration fees, case management Fees, exit fees, out of pocket expenses and fees? Can I have Home Care without a CDC Home Care Package?

Home Care Package Fees - The fees charged by organisations vary greatly so it is important that these are stated up front and that they are made transparent and you understand what level of service you get for these fees.   You may also need to know what out of pocket expenses might need to be paid and if there are options to meet your financial needs.  What happens to your care if you are unable to pay them? Do you need to pay all the fees?  If fees are charged what do they contribute to in your care plan?

Monthly Invoice - Ask for a copy of the monthly invoice and make sure you can see unspent funds accrued so you know exactly what is being spent on your home care.  Ask if the provider can help you get the most out of any unspent funds to improve the way you live and reconnect with activities you have enjoyed doing throughout your life.

If needed find out the rates for additional services as you may receive a home care package level of care lower than you were assessed for and may need to fund some care yourself, or there may be times you need additional care temporarily.

Ask if your monthly invoice meets the Home Care standards?  An approved provider of aged care is an organisation that has been approved to provide home care or flexible care under the Aged Care Act 1997.  Your home care provider must be an approved provider to receive Australian Government aged care subsidies.  The Home Care provider must also be accredited by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.  If you require further information about the Quality Agency Principles or the Quality Agency it is available, you can visit their website AACQA.gov.au

Exit Fees – Does your home care provider charge exit fees? Do you feel it is important these are charged?  Ask why they are charged or not charged?

Ask about Private Services

Some people want to pay for the care they need without having Government assistance.  Does your Home Care provider offer private full fee services?  Are the costs different depending on the services?  Private services mean you do not need a home care package you can pay for the care and services you need without a Government assessment. Also, you may opt for private home care at what cost while you wait for your home care package to be assigned or approved. Make sure your provider can do this for you.

Getting the right Home Care is about making the right choices in collaboration with your home care provider. If you have any questions about home care providers, CDC packages or Private Care or changing your home care provider please call the St Louis Home Care team on 1800 785 684.

We will help make the home care process as easy and transparent as possible.  At St Louis Aged Care it is about care and services to meet your lifestyle needs and goals.  St Louis Home Care has been an approved Home Care Provider since 1996 and Quality Aged Care Provider since 1946.

For more information about starting home care, please call St Louis Home Care in Adelaide on (08) 8332 0950 or St Louis Home Care at Victor Harbor on (08) 8552 1481.

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