Q&A with Maria Canatselis, Home Care Coordinator at St Louis. Why Your Home Care Coordinator Plays a Key Role in Home Care

Maria is a Home Care Coordinator at St Louis and in her role, she supports St Louis’ clients to develop a lifestyle that helps them enjoy their elderly years at home, by developing a custom home care package suited to their needs.

It is possible to manage your own home care package, but the outcomes you want may be harder to achieve. Below we discuss why having a Home Care Coordinator makes the difference between a good experience of home care and a great one.

Q: What is the primary role of the Home Care Coordinator?

As a Home Care Coordinator, I advise and support our clients on how to make the most of their home care package navigating the home care system to get the services they need to stay at home and plan for the future. We help people to achieve the best outcomes.

It is important that as coordinators we are giving appropriate help and support to empower people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible. The way care is delivered is up to our clients and they know they always have the choice to have care delivered in the way they want it.

The Home Care Coordinator is a bit like a personal assistant. They have many roles but the main one would be that they are responsible for helping clients to access a range of different services.

The role also includes case management, assessment, care planning, service coordination, managing budgets and regularly reviewing how everything is going.

Services are individualised and can include personal care, domestic assistance, home maintenance, and respite options.

Social support that helps our clients stay engaged in their interests and their local community is also an important aspect of home care. Read our blog about 21 ways to use your home care package to stay socially connected.

Q: What are the concerns that people have when they are about to start a Home Care Package?

Quality of care - mostly people are concerned with the quality of care that they will receive, even though they have most likely done their research and selected their preferred provider. But this is understandable, starting a home care package where someone else is caring for you in your own home is a big transition.

Is my package flexible? – as people get older their needs change so the home care package needs to be flexible to change with them. Our role is to make sure their package is always delivering what they need so we will regularly review how they are going in order to deliver additional or different services, within their existing home care package.

What will I pay and what are the rates? – we provide the costs up front and make sure that our clients understand their monthly invoices so that they are always aware of what the fees are.

Am I getting the most value from your package? This is what the home care coordinator role primary focusses on, to make sure we are optimising your home care package so that you are happy with the care you are receiving.

I haven’t been assigned the correct level package – sometimes people will be assigned a lower level package to get them started with some home care as they wait for their higher level of care to be approved. We will help people through this transition and ensure they are getting the help they need. We may suggest supplementary private home care or we can ensure we are making the most of the lower level package focusing on services that are a priority.

We understand the concerns people have during this transition time, we have had lots of experience and we gently help people work through their concerns.

We keep ongoing communication open between you and your home care coordinator, we are here to assist you every step of the way, and to address any concerns regarding your home care package - whether it has to do with the budget, the care you are receiving or your changing needs.

Your home care package is completely flexible so you can swap and change services if you need different care. We can also advocate with the government on your behalf so your home care level can increase if you need further support.

Is the Home Care Coordinator only involved at the start or is it an ongoing role?

It is an ongoing role and we are always working with the client to support their changing needs and to link them to the services and other resources that they require. We provide advice and support to our clients to enable them to make their own decisions for their ongoing care needs.

The care plan is often an ongoing dialogue with the coordinator, family and friends about how to meet their current needs and those that can be anticipated in the future. We conduct ongoing monitoring and formal reassessment to ensure that care and services continue to meet their needs.

What do you think would happen if people did not have a Home Care Coordinator?

People would need to manage their own budget and be able to keep track of their available funds and expenditure for their package. They would need to have the knowledge of how to write up a care plan which sets out the day-to-day services that will be provided and how they will be delivered.

They would need to select, hire and schedule their own care workers. Therefore, without the support that a home care coordinator offers, the added stress of people managing their home care package could result in not maximising the use of their home care package, resulting in early entry to residential care.

Call St Louis today to enquire about how we will help you make the best of your home care package

Call St Louis Home Care in Adelaide on 08 8332 0950 or St Louis in Victor Harbor on 08 8552 1481 to discuss an existing home care package or applying for a new one.

Stlouis Maria