The right Home Care can make an enormous difference to an individual’s quality of life, but finding the best provider can be a baffling process. Here, General Manager for Home Services at BaptistCare, Sarah Newman, explains how to choose an aged care provider that meets all your needs.
A little choice is a wonderful thing. Having the power to influence what goes on around us helps us to feel in control and adds to our sense of wellbeing. But having too many choices can have the opposite effect. We can feel overwhelmed, even bewildered.
Take the case of choosing a Home Care service provider. When someone qualifies for a Home Care Package through the Federal Government’s My Aged Care service, they’re able to choose exactly which company delivers their care. The trouble is that there are so many aged care providers on the market, many people have no idea where to start.
“There are 869 organisations offering Home Care – and 14% of those have appeared just in the past 12 months,” explains BaptistCare General Manager for Home Services, Sarah Newman. “It can be truly confusing for people.”
The good news is that by doing a little research, looking closely at what’s on offer and what meets your needs, you can quickly cut the list of providers down to one or two on whom you can rely. Here are Sarah Newman’s tips for four factors to look for when looking for a trustworthy, reliable provider that is able to meet your needs.
What is the provider’s purpose?
Not all Home Care providers exist for the same purpose. Some are set up with the express goal of making money. These ‘for-profit’ organisations typically see the Home Care system as a means to generate income, and their focus is often on delivering the least care possible in order to boost profit margins. ‘For-purpose’ organisations, by contrast, have different ambitions. These are organisations that exist to achieve a positive outcome for society, such as ensuring that older people have access to quality aged care. While they pay attention to the bottom line and being efficient, their focus is typically on people not profits.
How much experience does the provider have?
Recent changes to the way Home Care services are delivered have opened the market to new providers, and competition is a wonderful thing. However, not all the newcomers have the experience required to fully meet the needs of their clients. While you might get lucky, you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into. Look for an organisation with a proven track record of providing Home Care services, beyond just basic cleaning and maintenance. As we age, we typically require a greater scope of assistance, so an organisation with experience in providing everything from transport and social outings, occupational therapy, and nutritional advice to dementia support will be better placed to meet your needs.
Is the provider big enough to have economies of scale?
Sometimes bigger is better. Being large enables an organisation to secure deals for everything from staff and medical experts to specialised equipment that enables you to live in your home longer. If you’re with a for-purpose provider, these savings equate to better care for you at a lower price, meaning you get better value from your Home Care entitlement.
Do they have a focus on quality of life?
The final vital factor to consider is what the organisation’s vision is for its clients. Do they have a vision at all, or is all about delivering a service? Ideally, find a Home Care provider with a focus on providing you with the highest quality of life possible. Their mission should be to keep you living in your home longer and independent longer, while ensuring that you enjoy the best mental and emotional health possible. The right combination of services delivered with the right attitude can help you achieve just that.
So, take heart, do your research and you’ll find choosing the right provider becomes easier. With the hard work of finding someone you can rely on taken care of, you’ll have peace of mind while you enjoy the best Home Care service for you. After all, you’ve earned it and are entitled to it.
Questions to ask Home Care Providers
Ask potential Home Care providers the following questions to measure them against each other. This will help you narrow down the list and find a provider that’s just right for you!
- What kind of company runs the business?
- Is it for profit or for purpose?
- What are the main goals of the business?
- How long has your company been operating?
- What qualifications and training do you require of your Home Care staff?
- What kinds of services do you provide? Do you provide things like dementia support? Palliative care? Occupational therapy?
- Where does the company operate?
- How many people do you employ?
- How many people do you provide Home Care services to?
Quality of Life Questions
- Do you have a vision for your customers?
- What is it?
- What are your primary goals when providing care?
We can also assist you with some helpful strategies while you wait for your home care package to be assigned.
Contact our BaptistCare on 1300 275 227 or visit www.youchoose.org.au to create a home care plan that suits you.