Up until the beginning of 2017 Mum and Dad lived a happy independent life, married for 67 years; however, when Dad’s health started to deteriorate it was evident they needed support to remain living at home. With the help of the family, Mum and Dad started to navigate the aged care system. It soon became evident that progress was slow on the aged care journey, they found the road ahead littered with road humps! At a time when they felt particularly vulnerable, they were grappling with finding answers to questions, such as, what type of help could they get; who provides this type of help; what will it cost; do we qualify for government subsidises? - where do we start!
Looking back on the multitude of decisions and processes to navigate, choosing the right aged care provider, who best fits your needs, stands out as the most critical part of the process. Individuals and families, like us, often leave finding the right aged care provider until a time of crisis where solutions need to be found sooner than later, leaving little time to explore all the possibilities.
The number of home aged care providers has grown rapidly over the last few years - in my parent’s suburb there were more than 100 home aged care providers registered with My Aged Care. We found selecting the right home care provider confusing and complex and required wading through a mountain of information. Our advice would be, before contacting aged care providers spend time listing the questions you need answering to ensure you gather the information required to make a comparison between the providers. Questions, such as, the range of services provided; flexibility of service provision; history of providing services to people with similar needs; the amount charged for administration and co-ordination, their approach to communicating with clients etc.
Reflecting on the last two years of our aged care journey, I think questions to help you gauge the ease of ongoing communication with support workers and co-ordinators and their processes for reviewing a client's support needs and approach to developing and revising care plans are particularly important. Your support needs often change over time and the best home care solutions are achieved through maintaining a close, positive relationship with an aged care provider who supports clients in a collaborative, flexible and responsive manner.
For more tips, go to Live Well Longer - ageing at home free resource Considerations when choosing a home care provider.
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