As you get older, living independently in your own home and community can become more difficult. Home Care Packages are one of the ways that older people can access care and support at home.
A Home Care Package provides government funded care that will help you live in the comfort and familiarity of your home for as long as possible, even if you need a higher level of support or if you have complex needs.
Home Care Packages are delivered with a consumer directed care approach. This means you have choice and control over who your Home Care Package provider is, the type of services you receive through your Home Care Package and when you receive those services.
Sometimes, you may have to change providers. This may occur because you have moved location, or because you’re looking for a provider that better suits you.
As a Home Care Package recipient, you can change providers at any time, and your current Home Care Package provider must support you in the move.
So, how can you make sure you’re choosing a provider that provides value and quality services?
My Care Solution recommends interviewing at least 3 different providers before making the choice. Questions you can ask include:
1. What is your package management fee per fortnight?
Package Management is the ongoing organisation activities associated with ensuring the smooth delivery and management of a Home Care Package. It is deducted from your Home Care Package subsidy.
It may include the costs for preparing monthly statements, managing package funds, and compliance and quality assurance activities required for home care.
Package management fees vary greatly between Home Care Package providers. Our downloadable fee comparison shows the difference between providers in Adelaide and Victor Harbor.
2. What is your care management fee per fortnight?
Care management includes all the activities associated with coordinating your care and support such as creating a comprehensive care plan, arranging a budget, checking in with you as you receive your support and undertaking regular care reviews. Like the package management fee, it is deducted from your Home Care Package subsidy.
When considering the fees of a potential Home Care Package provider, it’s important to combine the package management fee and care management fee together to gain a better understanding of the provider’s fee structure.
Some providers may offer you the opportunity to self-manage your Home Care Package. However, most providers who offer a self-management option will still charge between 15-20% of your package in management fees.
Download our fee comparison to see how we fare against other providers in Adelaide and Victor Harbor.
3. In total, what percentage of my subsidy will you claim for fees?
Ask your potential provider to calculate their package management and care management fees as a percentage of your Home Care Package. This is a common calculation used by Home Care Package providers, so the person you are interviewing should know the answer.
4. Will you charge me the basic daily fee?
You may be expected to contribute a basic daily fee to the cost of your Home Care Package. The basic daily fee may be up to $10.75, even if you’re a full age pensioner. However, it’s important to know that this is an optional fee – not a mandatory one.
Many providers in Adelaide and Victor Harbor choose to continue charging the basic daily fee. My Care Solution waives the basic daily fee for all Home Care Package clients.
5. Are there any other fees that I should be aware of, such as a staff travel fee or invoice fee?
Many Home Care Package providers in Adelaide and Victor Harbor withdraw a variety of fees from their Home Care Package clients. It’s important to ask your potential provider what fees they charge and why they charge them.
For example, many providers charge a staff travel fee for every visit – a fee that covers their staff’s kilometres of travel to get to your home. What happens if your caregiver is travelling over 30 kilometres to get to your home? You may be charged up to $30.00 extra every visit, or as seen in our downloadable fee comparison, some providers may charge up to $51.70 extra every visit.
Providers may also charge other fees such as a monthly invoice fee for printing and sending your invoice, or a fee for taking your call after hours.
My Care Solution does not charge these fees.
6. What is your exit policy?
As outlined earlier, you can change providers at any time, and your current Home Care Package provider must support you in the move. However, many providers also have strict exit policies and fees in place.
Ask your provider what their exit policy is and whether they charge an exit fee if you choose to move your Home Care Package to a different provider.
Some providers may require up to one months’ notice and a $300 exit fee deducted from your Home Care Package.
My Care Solution does not charge an exit fee, and only requires two weeks’ notice to get your paperwork and funds in place to move to your provider of choice.
7. Will I have my own care coordinator?
Not much compares to the ease and reliability of having your own, dedicated Client Care Coordinator. Someone who can manage every aspect of your care and support and talk to you when you need them most.
Ask your potential Home Care Package provider if you have a dedicated coordinator that can support you through your home care journey. If the provider does offer this service, ask if this incurs any additional fees.
At My Care Solution, you are introduced to your dedicated Client Care Coordinator from your very contact with us. They are your partner in your Home Care Package journey and will be responsible for coordinating your care and support in collaboration with you. This service is covered through your care management fee.
8. How do you screen and train your staff?
As a Home Care Package recipient, you only want the very best of staff in your home.
It’s important to ask your potential Home Care Package provider how their staff are screened and trained. Do they have National Police Clearances? How many reference checks are completed before they are employed? Does the provider offer ongoing training and professional development?
My Care Solution caregivers are nationally screened and undergo 4 reference checks prior to employment. Our caregivers are also expected to successfully complete three training modules every month.
9. What steps will you take to ensure that my carers are compatible with me?
Providing care and support is intimate business, particularly when it comes to receiving services such as personal care. You don’t want just anybody in your home – you want someone you can trust.
Ask your potential Home Care Package provider how they go about ensuring the care staff they place in your home are compatible with your needs, interests and personality.
At My Care Solution, your dedicated Client Care Coordinator gets to know you beyond your care needs – what you like, what you dislike, what your goals are and what support you need in place to achieve those goals – and hand-picks a small care team that is just right for you.
10. Do you have your own care staff, or do you use agencies and sub-contractors?
There are still many Home Care Package providers that rely on freelance carers and third-party providers to provide their staff, rather than employing and training their own. It gives them the ability to take on more clients, increase their service coverage and accept more care visits.
However, how can the provider ensure the quality of their care? What about the continuity of the support you receive? And, how have those agency and contract workers been screened and trained?
My Care Solution directly screens, employs and trains all of its care staff, so you can rest assured that the staff in your home and trained to the same high standard.
If you’re considering Home Care Providers, it’s important to keep these questions in mind to make sure you’re choosing a Home Care Package provider that’s the right fit for you.
Download our FREE Home Care Package interview checklist with 19 bonus questions and use this during your care consultations with potential Home Care Package providers.