As an older adult moving into that next stage of your life, living a high-quality lifestyle is incredibly important for a variety of reasons.
Particularly with regards to living at home on your own terms using a home care package.
This then begs the question – which home care package provider is best suited for you?
That’s exactly what we are going to help you with in this blog which will hopefully make your decision a fraction easier.
What does a home care package provider do?
Before we discuss how to choose a provider, we thought it would be worth discussing what they do for older adults who want to live independently at home.
Essentially, they provide older adults with government funded home care services based on their individual needs.
These services include cleaning, gardening, transportation, medication, social activities and so much more.
They exist to enable older adults who don’t necessarily want to be in a retirement home to receive the same level of care but in the comfort of their own home.
What should I look for?
As we mentioned, these home care package providers can offer a variety of home care services suited to an individual’s needs.
But it’s important to know that every provider is different and therefore they offer different services.
When searching for the best one for you or your loved one, we believe there two things to consider.
First, do your research and then short list all the home care package providers that meet your needs.
Once you have done this, we’d recommend meeting with those providers on your short list to discuss your needs.
Shortlisting the providers
We’d recommend focusing on the agency’s that will adequately provide the home care services you really need.
Common services that all home care package providers should offer are nursing, cleaning, gardening & home maintenance, social support, medical care, and in-home respite to name a few.
If any of the providers you have spoken with don’t offer all of these, then it’s probably wise not to pursue them further.
We think the biggest factor in your choice will ultimately come down to what specialized services they provide.
Perhaps you or your loved one has dementia and needs regular care? Or hearing impairment?
It’s important to find a home care package provider that can provide these services for you.
Furthermore, these specialized needs can diversify into multicultural needs when there’s a need for a home care agency that employs bi-lingual staff.
How much do they charge?
One of the final considerations before you make your final decision will almost certainly be cost.
Prices will always vary between providers based on the number of services provided which is why it’s important to compare what’s on offer.
This will ensure you get the most out of your home care package.
Ensuring transparency, all providers should feature their full price list inclusive of services and fees on their respective website.
Things to consider with cost are services provided, care & package management.
Any costs associated with engaging a home care package provider will ultimately depend on the provider themselves and when the services are delivered.
This includes the home care services themselves, what day & time said services are delivered, who will provide the services (the provider or a subcontractor), and costs associated with the care & package management.
It’s time to meet
You’ve got your shortlist of providers and now it’s time to meet them to discuss your needs.
You can do all the research necessary but you really won’t get a feel for what they can truly offer you without actually meeting with them.
We’d recommend taking a copy of your approval letter and support plan with you to your meetings with your short-listed home care package providers.
Your income assessment outcome letter (should you have it) will be a beneficial addition to the conversation too.
Finally, perhaps you’ve got a list of your own questions you’d like to ask? Bring them along too for your own peace of mind.
If you are engaging these services for yourself, there will be a lot of information to take in.
Therefore, we’d recommend bringing along a friend or a family member so they too can understand what is being offered.
They might even have their own list of questions to ask to ensure they are involved in the process.