The waitlist for home care packages continues to grow, with many seniors reporting waiting more than 12 months for a package at their assessed care level.
In the interim period, many will be offered a lower level package before one at their assessed care level becomes available. However, according to statistics out of the Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2018-19, released in March, many people aren’t taking up the offer of a lower level package.
At 31 December 2018, there were 53,770 people who had been offered an interim home care package while they wait for a package at their approved level.
Of those 53,770 people, while 55.52% (29,858) accepted the lower level package, 32.81% didn’t accept their interim package. A remaining 11.66% hadn’t accepted their offer, but it was still open (within 56 days of an offer).
This means there is a large percentage of people who have opted not to receive any care while they remain waiting for their higher level package. But there can be benefits to receiving lower level care now while you remain on the waiting list.
Stay on the list while receiving some care
It’s worth mentioning that you’re not disadvantaged if you accept a lower level package, because your place in the queue is based on your date of approval and priority.
The advantage of taking a lower level care package is that you will remain in your place on the queue and you can start getting some services in place while you continue to wait for a package at your assessed care level.
This can go some way to relieving some difficulties you’re experiencing around the home or can help take some of the pressure of family carers.
Get used to receiving services at home
For some people reaching out and accepting help at home is a hard thing to do so by accepting a lower level package, it allows you to get used to receiving help to do the things you’re having difficulty doing yourself.
It can feel strange to have people you don’t know coming into your home, but quality home care providers will aim to match you with carers that suit you and ensure that these same carers come out to deliver your regular services.
Build a relationship with your chosen home care provider
Another advantage of getting a lower level package is that you can research the home care provider options in your area and choose the one that’s right for you.
Each provider has its own cost structure and schedule of fees, so gathering this information can help you compare. Keep a lookout for case management and administration fees, minimum visit times and transport charges. These can all have an impact on the amount of money left in your package to fund care.
You can then develop a relationship with that provider while you’re receiving lower level care and see if they’re responsive to your needs, deliver the care the way you want and offer value for money.
Then, when you receive your higher level package your provider already knows your care needs and can give you expert advice on getting the most out of your package by tailoring a care plan to your needs.