Choosing the most suitable aged care option can be quite a challenge. Whether you are seeking an option for yourself or a family member, the options can be confusing. Whether you should choose in-home care or residential aged-care, how to choose a service provider? It can be quite a task to sift the wheat from the chaff.
Based on our industry knowledge and discussions with industry professionals we have tried to simplify things for you. Aged care advocates tell us about what to look for, what to avoid, and key issues to be aware of when searching for the best aged care service providers.
If you’re in the process of weighing up aged care options, the first thing is:
In-home care versus residential aged care
Though there’s no industry data to support that residential aged-care is better than in-home care. But in-home care is the preferred choice of most. After all, as the saying goes, there’s no better place than home.
Once you have decided your options
Step 1: ACAT assessment
Whether you’re looking for in-home support or residential aged-care, the first step is to contact My Aged Care (ph:1800 200 422) they will organise an assessment. Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will visit your home to review your needs and may approve eligibility and level of government support.
For the residential aged-care, a copy of the assessment report will be given to you – you’ll need this when filling out residential aged-care applications.
For community care (Home based support) if you are eligible for funding, a level (1-4) of package will be assigned. There are different levels of funding based on your needs.
Step 2: What you need to understand?
Consider the following while choosing residential aged-care facility:
- a resident-centred care approach
- measures to cater for people with dementia
- culturally appropriate care
- involvement of relatives and friends
- effective pain management
- use of specialist supports
- end-of-life care options
You might be tempted to go for that luxurious lifestyle, as advertised by a lot of aged-care homes. It’s important to make a practical decision based on care options and not lifestyle alone.
Here are some tips to choosing an in-home care service provider:
Compare a range of care providers
When selecting a care provider, go through a licensed agency. Compare agencies, talk to their clients if you can. A large agency doesn’t guarantee good service.
Use a checklist (Agency Comparison Checklist)
It’s important to ask the agency a few questions. Some of them being if they can find a replacement immediately, and whom to contact after hours
Ask current customers for feedback
There is no feedback more valuable than that from current consumers. Ask to be put in touch with a family who already use the service and talk to them about their experience. (Home Care Reviews)
Ensure you know your rights and responsibilities
As someone using an aged care service provider you ought to be treated well. Ensure you know your rights and get a caring caretaker (Frequently asked questions)