Increasing choice and flexibility in home care and what it means for you

March 8, 2017

The way in which Home Care is managed in Australia has undergone significant transformation recently and it’s important that older Australians understand what this may mean to them according to ICCWA Chief Executive Sandy Lukjanowski.

Some of this change is a large departure from how Home Care has been delivered in the past, giving older Australians much more choice and flexibility to ensure they can safely remain at home and connected with community.

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) packages have been established to ensure a more individualised, person-centred approach to care.

This means that older Australians are encouraged to work with an approved care provider, to map out personal goals in areas such as independence, health and mobility.

Home Care Standards have been streamlined, which will see the bar rise in terms of the standard of services delivered by approved providers. As with any competitive marketplace this ensures better “deals” and offerings for consumers within that market.

“As with all purchases, we would encourage everyone to review the care they or a loved one is receiving to ensure it best meets the needs of the individual,” Ms Lukjanowski says.

Looking at all items, from quality of care, equipment charges, costs per hour and administration fees and charges as well as the range of services offered by the provider to ensure they meet the needs of the individual.

“The new changes mean that you now have the flexibility to move to a different provider at any stage. So it’s a good idea to compare service providers and shop around.”

You can visit www.myagedcare.gov.au, which provides a wealth of information for consumers and their families or contact them by phone on 1800 200 422.

“It’s a good idea to review and discuss your needs with your Home Care Provider as your needs change and to remember that this funding is yours to be used in the way you feel best meets your needs to maintain your independence at Home,” she says.

Treat this funding as you would money coming directly from your own bank account and ensure that you agree with the way in which all funds that are spent.

Make sure you check your monthly statement closely – this will quickly highlight to you where the bulk of your funds are being spent so you can assess if that is the best use of this money to achieve your goal of remaining at home independently.

Like the old saying goes, prevention is often better than cure! Look at incorporating some measures that are an investment in your future and will allow you to stay at home longer.

In WA in 2012 falls ranked as the most common injury accounting for 32.5% of fatal injuries and 32.5% of non-fatal hospitalisations at a cost of $2.2 billion to the health system.1

In 2012, more than twice as many Western Australians died as a result of a fall than of transport related injuries.1

Stay On Your Feet ®  is WA’s leading falls prevention program for older adults living in the community and has proudly been delivered by ICCWA in partnership with Department of Heath WA for over 16 years. The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce falls and fall related injuries to encourage confidence in independent living.

Visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au to test your falls risk, to find out what to do if you have a fall, to access brochures and booklets to help prevent slips, trips and falls and much more!

Incidence and costs of injury in Western Australia 2012. Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate Department of Health WA. Hendrie D, Miller TR, Randall S, Brameld K, Moorin RE