Once you reach a certain age, you might not be comfortable in your own home anymore. It could be down to a decline in your health or mobility, but living on your own in your home independently might no longer be an option. Thankfully, there is no reason why you should struggle on in your home for any longer than is absolutely necessary. You could look into moving into a care home so that you can have all of the assistance and care that you need in order to continue leading a comfortable and enjoyable life. Alternatively, you might want to find a home care provider who can visit you at home on a daily basis to see exactly how they can help you.
It’s important that you carefully think about which of these options is the best for you. Move into a care home or find a home care provider? Most people decide to go with the latter option as it means that they don’t have to completely uproot themselves and move into a different home. Not only that, though, but it can sometimes be better for those who suffer with dementia and who might struggle with a lot of change.
In this blog post, we’ll go over what you need to know about home care providers and how you can change yours should you ever wish to.
What To Look For In A Home Care Provider
Don’t worry if you aren’t too sure about what you need to look for in a good provider. There are various factors that you should use when making your decision. Here are some of the main ones to think about.
- Your budget. Every home care provider will have its own set of prices, so you will need to consider which one will fit into your budget. This means that before you start even looking into different ones, you should start to think about how much you can actually afford to spend on them. Most care homes will charge per month, but some will charge per week. So, it’s a good idea to calculate how much you can spend on one each month, just to get a better idea of what will fit into your budget. One thing to bear in mind that a specialist provider, for example one that caters specifically to dementia sufferers, will likely be a bit more expensive than just a general firm that welcomes elderly clients who don’t require any specific types of care. The more fancy features that a home care provider offers will also likely mean a higher cost as well.
- Their location. Make sure you spend some time thinking about a home care provider’s location as well. Ideally, they need to be somewhere that is easily accessible to you. They then won’t have such a long commute to get to your home. Some providers will charge you for their travel time to you, so this is always something to bear in mind. As well as that, if your provider offers a call-out service, then it’s best for them to be local so that you don’t have to wait too long if you do ever need to call them out in an emergency.
- Specialism. The majority of home care providers will have their own niche. For instance, some will excel at looking after patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, while others will be more equipped to look after patients who have disabilities. There are also those who care for patients with palliative requirements as well. So, you will need to think about the kind of care that you need and which of your local providers can offer you this. It might cost a little bit more to find this precise kind of care, but it will be really worth it as it will ensure that you are completely comfortable in your own home.
Once you think about all of the points mentioned above, you will be in a much better place to decide on the right kind of home care provider for you.
Is It Possible To Change Your Home Care Service Provider In Australia?
Hopefully, once you start enjoying the services of a home care provider, you will find that you are well looked after and can continue to lead an independent life in your own home. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t always go to plan, and you might end up in a situation in which you aren’t entirely happy with the provider that you end up using. You might start to wonder whether there is any chance of you being able to change to a different provider.
Well, you will be happy knowing that you can in fact change. Since 27th February 2017, it’s been possible to change your home care provider in Australia. This is all possible because of the deregulation of the Australian aged care sector.
Of course, you shouldn’t be so rash and instantly change when there is a problem. It’s always best to go to your current provider and have a chat about them about why you might not be completely happy with them. They might have previously been unaware that there was an issue. Now that they know, though, they should do all that they can to improve their service for you. However, if you have already spoken to your care provider and their improved efforts have not seemed to fix the issue, then you can get the ball rolling with the whole switching process. You should be aware that there might be some exit fees for leaving your current provider, so it’s worth researching them to make sure you won’t be left out of pocket by expensive costs.
Do you think that it’s time you thought about switching your home care provider? Read on to find out how it’s done!
How You Can Change Your Home Care Service Provider
Changing the provider for your home care doesn’t have to be difficult. It is in fact a very simple and easy thing to do, and it shouldn’t take you too long either. Here is a quick run down of the steps you need to take in order to switch your home care provider in Australia for good.
- Do Your Research Again
First of all, you will need to start researching a few different providers. Even though you will have no doubt done a lot of research when you originally started looking for a provider, it’s important that you start again from scratch and don’t just rely on any old notes or information that you might have lying around. That’s because these notes could be out of date by now. Home care companies are regularly updating their prices and list of services, so you will be a lot better off starting over with your research so that you are getting up-to-date insights into each option.
So, it’s necessary for you to take a look at all of the possible home care providers in your region and take a note of their fees and all of the services and facilities that they can offer you. You can then create a list of pros and cons of each provider, and review these together. That should help you with your decision.
- Write Down A Shortlist
It’s always a good idea to make a shortlist of a few home care providers. This should be no more than five options, and these should be the ones that you like the most. For most people, they might find it quite difficult to decide between their shortlisted options, but creating this list is a good way of completely disregarding the providers you don’t like the sound of or who can’t provide you with the exact kind of care you need.
- Contact The Providers On Your Shortlist
Once you’ve decided on your shortlist, it’s worth getting in touch with each of these companies. You can then chat to them about the specifics of their care and services, so that you can be sure that they offer you the things that you need and want from a home care provider. You should also ask them if you would be able to speak to someone from their firm in person. In fact, it would be great if you could get an appointment to chat to one of their nurses or a similar professional health caregiver. After all, these will be the individuals who you will be welcoming into your home most days once you start care with the provider. Don’t forget to also ask them about how soon they could start to provide you with their care. Some home care providers might have a waiting list that you need to take into consideration.
- Contact My Aged Care
Once you have decided which of the possible home care providers you are going to go with, it is essential that you contact My Aged Care to let them know. They can then update their records accordingly. There are various ways you can contact My Aged Care. One of the simplest is to just give them a quick call on 1800 200 422. You can then give all of the important details about your new caregiver to them over the phone. If you’d rather not speak to anyone over the phone, you can always update your details online. You just need to log onto your portal on the My Aged Care website. My Aged Care will then know to relocate your Home Care Package to a different provider. Not only that, though, but they will also be able to activate your referral code and will supply this to your new provider.
- Inform Your Current Home Care Provider
Don’t forget that you will need to also let your current home care provider know that you will be moving to a different service soon. You can do this over the phone, emailing them, or sending them a letter in the post. Even if you do give them a quick call to notify them, it’s still a really good idea to also send a letter or email as well so that there is a paper trail that records your communication. This way, if there is ever a mix up, you can always refer back to the letter or email for clarification. In most cases, you will need to give your current provider at least fourteen days notice. However, in some cases, a provider might require thirty days notice. It is up to you to find out how much notice you need to give them. If you give them plenty of notice, then you will be able to give them your preferred end date. Just make sure that this aligns with the start date that you have given your new home care provider!
- Set A Start Date With Your New Home Care Provider
Don’t forget to agree a start date with your new home care provider. This start date needs to be after the end date for your current provider. Remember that some popular providers might have quite a long waiting list, so you might have to wait a while to get onto their books and start using their services. The provider will usually inform you of any possible wait when you are in the early stages of discussing their services with them.
As you can see, it certainly is possible to change your home care service provider in Australia. It should also be a very easy and simple process to go through as well! You just need to follow all of the steps outlined in the blog post above, and you will soon find that it was a lot easier than you thought to switch your home care provider. If you do ever run into any difficulty during the whole process, it might be worth getting a family member or friend to help you out. Of course, you can always call My Aged Care and they will also be more than happy to help you make the switch.