The recent reforms to Government Funded Home Care Packages, effective 27 February 2017, have sparked a wave of questions from some of the most vulnerable in our community, with many elderly and disabled citizens overwhelmed with the choice of providers emerging as a result of the changes.
Where previously individuals were required to receive services from whichever provider had an available package, and with payment made directly from Government to that provider, the changes now provide the individual with an open choice of provider, and the result is more freedom to find the right support and services for individual needs, but also a greater need to understand both the dangers and positive traits to look out for.
Prestige Inhome Care’s own Nick McDonald, says the changes are a positive move for individuals Australia-wide requiring care, however says the industry needs to ensure transparency and a high standard of service is maintained to ensure the safety and security of each individual.
To achieve this, Nick McDonald has identified the five key factors to look out for when selecting a new Home Care Provider.
1. Ensure the company is reputable
“Unfortunately, anyone can create a good looking website. When researching, make sure you dig deeper to find out specific details, and make sure you answer these questions: How long has the company existed? Where do they operate? Do they have resources to help you get in touch with them when you need them, not just a call centre? Do they have credible, legitimate testimonials from other clients? These simple steps will help you find a credible provider,” says Nick.
2. Watch the fees please
“Once you have found what looks like a credible provider the next step is to identify their fee structure,” said Nick. “The key thing here is to look for inflated administration fees or other unnecessary case management or exit fees that eat into the dollars that could go towards care. Make sure you pay no more than 15% for admin fees, and don’t spend a cent on case management unless it is a service you need and wish to pay for. Also be aware of any exit fees you may be charged if you decide to leave that provider at some stage.”
3. Is the care there?
“The reason In Home Care is popular is that individuals are able to remain in their homes within the comfort of their surrounds. However, to experience the true advantages of in-home care you need to be able to recognise what a high standard of care looks like. Ask yourself, do I feel good as a result of my Home Care provider? Do I genuinely feel cared for? Are they doing everything they can to make my life easier? If you answer no to any of those questions, you have not found the right provider to suit your needs,” says Nick.
4. What are people saying?
“Listen to the opinions of others and explore the reputation of the provider,” says Nick. “Look beyond pre-prepared testimonials on their website? A quick google search of the provider’s name should bring up some independent reviews or testimonials to help you make an informed decision.”
5. Don’t be afraid to switch
“Unhappy with a provider? Switching is now easy and seamless and moving to the right provider will save you money and put you in charge again,” says Nick.