When is the right time to accept a little help at home?
Many in the Starts at 60 community have already had to think long and hard on this question, as they assist parents and other loved ones in accessing home help.
Some are likely to have already attempted to navigate the application process for a Home Care Package (HCP), which is the next step toward obtaining assistance. Others, meanwhile, are no doubt just getting started on what can seem like a daunting journey into the world of home care.
Fortunately, consumers now have more control than ever over the type of care they access and how they do so
Recent reforms mean the home care industry is now more transparent and offers a greater choice of services, which means users can more easily understand what their funding covers, select specific services, and switch providers at any time.
Meanwhile, many home care providers are now geared up to assist first-time users through the process of obtaining funding and organising services.
Jon Pinder, the state manager of HenderCare in Western Australia, says that helping people understand the HCP process is a vital part of HenderCare’s service – and one it offers without charge to any person that requests assistance.
“Home Care Packages are all about supporting independence, and we understand that independence looks different for everyone,” Pinder says.
“A lot of people call us wanting to have a chat about getting started with a Home Care Package. If they prefer a home visit, we make sure we take the time to sit with them and explain how the system works, and what sort of supports might help them live more comfortably.”
The first step to accessing a HCP is relatively straightforward.
Visit the government’s My Aged Care website and apply for an in-person assessment. This assessment decides how much funding the applicant will receive from the government toward their home help costs.
Applicants’ needs are categorised into one of four levels, ranging from light domestic help to high-level nursing care.
This is where an understanding of consumer choices is most key.
Home care is an extremely personalised service that can mean many things to many people – and the right care provider will help newcomers use their care funding to the fullest advantage.
Shopping around also is vital. Nobody likes to rush into a relationship that doesn’t feel right and it’s important to form a meaningful connection with the care provider before locking anything in.
HenderCare’s obligation-free support service can be a convenient and practical way to find that peace of mind. It’s an opportunity to take the time to check whether HenderCare is a good match for your family member’s needs, and to form a relationship.
“We focus on keeping our clients at the heart of all of our decisions,” Pinder says. “We listen to them and work with them to identify the supports that suit them best.
“Our clients tell us that knowing we are just a phone call away gives them real peace of mind.”
This no-obligation call can help put potential care users and their families at ease on their next steps, whether they’re planning well ahead, waiting for a HCP assessment, or ready to organise a care provider.
Have you used home care yourself, or organised it for a loved one? What was your experience?