Topic 2: Considering home care as an alternative to aged care
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More of us are looking for alternatives that will allow us to live in our homes well into our later years instead of moving into an aged care facility.
One of those alternatives which is becoming popular is home care, and with a change of rules set to give you more control over your care, it’s set to become even more popular.
Under the current home care system, the government assigns you to a home care provider.
But on February 27, the system is set to change.
The changes will allow you to choose your own qualified home care provider or you can choose your own qualified home carer directly.
You might be wondering what home care is?
Well, home care can be provided in a number of different forms.
It ranges from basic assistance such as preparing meals or assistance with eating, to helping people bathe, dress and get around their home.
People receiving home care can also be given medical treatments such as podiatry and physiotherapy, and they can receive help getting out and about doing their grocery shopping and attending social activities.
So, why are more people turning to home care?
Well, as Careseekers CEO Marissa Sandler explains, it can have many psychological and health benefits for older Australians.
“Because home care takes place in a person’s own home, it’s really tailored to their needs and lifestyle and even their food tastes,” she said.
“With home care people can continue to decide when and how they do things, unlike an aged care facility where resident tend to be on a set schedule.”
Read more: The changes to home care and how they will affect you
Like many people, Sandler has seen home care and ageing from a personal perspective.
Her grandparents were adamant about staying in their own home, and she saw firsthand how home care services made a positive impact in their life.
As she explains, decisions about care often arise when people are in hospital recovering from an illness or a fall in their home.
“Research shows there is no better place to recover than in your home,” she said.
“Some people have lived in their homes for a long time, so they have many memories and connections there.
“If you are able to stay in your home, you’re able to stay in your community and you can continue to go to the usual shops and interact with people who are familiar to you.”
While home care has been around in some form for a long time, government assistance has come with some limitations including waiting lists.
There’s also been private sector providers, but they can be expensive for some older Australians on limited incomes.
So, now that home care is set to be revolutionised, how can you connect with the right provider for you?
It’s a question the prompted Sandler to join the growing number of people linking older Australians with home care providers.
She co-founded an online marketplace called Careseekers.
“Using an online platform can allow you to connect with the exact type of care or carer you need,” Sandler explains.
“In the past all the care packages were with the providers, now they are in the hands of you – the consumer – and you can choose provider.
“It’s given you the freedom to shop around and use services that give you more bang for your buck – you have a lot more choice and control.”
Information about how you can qualify for government assisted home care is available from My Aged Care (myagedcare.com.au), along with more information about the new changes.
Do you have a loved one who is helped by home care? Is home care something you would consider as an alternative to aged care?