How to compare home care package providers

When you compare home care package providers, there are some key questions to ask. Here is your guide to choosing the home care package provider that’s right for you.

What to look out for when choosing a home care package provider

Navigating Australia’s aged care system can be a daunting task. There are more than 900 approved home care package providers across the country, and that number continues to grow. Knowing what to look for in a provider can make the selection process much easier.

Here are five key features to keep in mind when comparing home care package providers:

Home care package safety and quality

You have the right to safe and high-quality care and services, and to be treated with dignity and respect. Before you select your home care package provider, ask about the checks and balances each organisation has in place to ensure you have home care and services of the safest and highest standard.

What to ask:

  • Do you comply the Australian Aged Care Quality Standards?
  • What background checks do you conduct?
  • Do your staff receive regular training?
  • How do you handle complaints?

At Latrobe Community Health Service, we are committed to continuous improvement. That means we:

  • conduct background checks on all our staff and home care partners
  • provide staff with regular training
  • continue to review our service delivery through consumer feedback and internal audits
  • meet the national aged care quality standards.
Transparency

No one should be caught out by extra fees or hidden charges. Ask each provider you speak with about their fees and any out-of-pocket expenses you can expect to pay. These costs vary from organisation to organisation, so it’s important you take the time to understand them.

What to ask:

  • What is your service provider fee?
  • What does that fee cover?
  • How much money will I have to spend on services each fortnight?
  • Do you charge any other fees, such as establishment and exit fees?

Latrobe Community Health Service prides itself on transparency and fairness. Our costs are not buried in the fine print – you can download our pricing schedule right now. And when you call to ask about our services, we will spend time explaining our costs. Understanding what you’re paying is important to us.

Choice in services

Everyone’s needs are different, and usually they change over time. You deserve a home care package that is tailored for you. It can be helpful to look into the types of services and direct support that different providers offer. It also pays to check whether providers partner with other organisations, which usually means they offer more choice and you have more control.

Think about what kind of services you’d like included in your package now and how your needs might change in the short- and long-term. Have your list of ‘must-have’ services handy whenever you enquire about a home care package provider.

What to ask:

  • What services do you offer, and can I receive them where I live?
  • Does your organisation provide all of the services directly, or do you have partner organisations?
  • If my needs or wants change, can I change the services I receive?
  • I already have a cleaner and gardener whom I trust and get along with. Can I keep them if I select you as my home care package provider?

As well as providing some services directly, Latrobe Community Health Service relies on a range of trusted partners to deliver care in your home. If you already have a service provider you like, we can work with them. We will tailor your care plan to suit you and you are always in control.

Excellent support

When you choose your home care package provider, you are selecting the team of advisors you want to work with to develop your care plan and establish services in your home. You may need to call your care advisor or service coordinator to cancel, reschedule or add a new service. Ask providers about their phone or email support and how long it will take them to get back to you. Remember, every provider charges a different amount for their package or care management, so it’s important you check how much their management fee is and what this includes.

What to ask:

  • What does your package management include?
  • Can I call you if my needs change? Is there an extra charge for this?
  • What hours and days are you available on the phone?
  • How quickly can I expect a response?

At Latrobe Community Health Service, we check in (in person!) to make sure your package is working for you. Plus, if you need to call us, there will always be someone on the other end of the line. We provide 24-hour phone support for urgent enquiries.

Social value

Some home care package providers are private, profitable businesses while others are not-for-profit. Choosing a provider whose values align with yours or who invests in causes you care about can prove worthwhile. Firstly, you’ll likely feel more comfortable dealing with their staff. Secondly, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re with a provider you can trust.

What to ask:

  • Are you a not-for-profit?
  • Where do you invest your revenue or surplus funds?
  • What are your organisation’s values?

Latrobe Community Health Service is a secular not-for-profit organisation that reinvests in the communities we serve. We have delivered home care packages to older Australians for more than 20 years. Our consumers stay with us because they trust us.

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