With a Home Care Package waiting list that shows little sign of abating, ensuring value in aged care services is a national priority. In a recent piece in the Australian Financial Review, journalist Bina Brown reported on the state of home care packages in Australia, and how options like Mable can help those who need extra support to remain living at home.
The state of home care”Cruel, unfair, disrespectful and discriminatory against older Australians” – this is a description of the home care waitlist, according to the counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aged Care, reports Brown in the article.
She continues by revealing that that while a shortfall of available funds exists for those that need them, providers are sitting on at least $330 million of unspent funds on behalf of clients.
According to Brown, even those who have secured a home care package will often need to find additional support elsewhere.
“It is rare to see someone who lives on their own with high care needs being able to manage on a package without further help.”In this context, ensuring you are getting value out of your home care package is essential. To do this, Brown recommends that recipients ask themselves, “am I getting the services I need and does it make financial sense?”
Extra services an inevitability for manyThe article reports that of the 128,000 people on the home care package waitlist, 55,000 are receiving a lower level package than that which they have been assessed for. The solution? According to Brown, it’s “topping up the package with private funds or facing the prospect of residential care.”There are options for people who need additional support to remain living in their own homes. One of these is access to the Commonwealth Home Support Package, which can be made available to a person allocated a Level 2 package who is waiting for a level 4 to be assigned. For those that have the means however, she recommends considering paying a ‘fee for service’ and forgoing the wait for government subsidies – emphasising the potential value for money that can be achieved for people who decide to take this route.
“Private fees of accredited care providers start at about $55 an hour. Engaging carers directly for less through a growing number of online platforms such as mable.com.au can be a positive alternative experience.”
The article also reveals the good news that people who do need to enter residential facilities, may soon no longer need to wade through reams of documents to apply.
Click through here to read the full article. (Please note, the AFR is subject to a paywall. This link may be blocked for some readers.)
Interested in finding out how you can ‘top up’ your home care, or get more hours of support out of your existing package? Read more here.To view the profiles of independent care workers offering services directly to clients in your area, search Mable today.