In the last few years, the number of home care providers in Australia have exploded – but how do you tell the difference between a quality home care provider and one that may not have your best interests at heart?
With the move to consumer-directed care at the beginning of 2017, consumers were given more choice when it came to picking home care providers. While this was a positive step forward, it has also led to a steep increase in new home care providers. There are now around 900 businesses offering in-home care services around Australia.
With the Royal Commission into Aged Care underway, the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM told ABC News that the Government will also review whether registration requirements for home care providers need tightening and whether it’s been too easy for home care businesses to enter the sector.
Until then, how do you as a consumer recognise a quality home care provider?
A quality home care provider will always be upfront about their fees and how much of your package will be taken out for administration fees, case management and other charges.
Your home care provider should have a schedule of fees that offer a clear outline of the type of support services offered and their cost.
Also look for the minimum visit times. These should also be clearly communicated. Some providers have a minimum visit of 15-minutes, whereas some have 30 minutes as the minimum. This can make a big difference to how far your package dollars can extend and how many care visits you can receive.
How responsive your care provider is to your enquiries, questions and needs can be the difference between quality care and a service that can leave you feeling stressed and unheard.
Ask who your primary point of contact will be, how they can be contacted and whether they can be reached outside of normal business hours. Some providers have a central contact centre while some may give you a mobile contact number of your primary contact.
Staffing and service delivery
Quality providers will look to pair you with a regular team of carers who get to know your needs. You will be involved in the development of your support plan and will get to choose the service times and routines that suit you.
Look for providers with an appointment-based system where you can book in an actual time for a care visit, rather than a window of time where you may be left waiting around.
Do your research
Don’t be afraid to shop around and talk to different care providers and find out how they can help you.
Our home care checklist can help you ask the right questions to choose a home care provider that offers a quality service that suits your needs.