An update on aged care home care packages

Changes to the aged care home care package system

how to get the best from your home care package

On 27 February 2017, significant changes were made to home care packages for the aged in an effort to make packages more market driven and consumer focused. The most important change is that consumers now own their own packages, the package can be moved if the consumer relocates or is unhappy with a provider and a consumer can negotiate with providers to get what they want for the best price.

Update from the Department of Health on home care packages

The Department of Health administers the home care package system. In late March 2017, the department advised that it had released over 14,000 home care packages in March 2017 with the majority to consumers who had never previously held a home care package. The release also assigned packages to consumers who were currently receiving home care but were awaiting a package at their approved level.

The department also advised that it will now move to a more regular release schedule, with packages likely to be released weekly.

Information is not yet available on expected wait times or position in the queue. This is because the system is new and the department needs time to analyse the take up of home care packages, and ensure that meaningful information is available. The department has advised that data on wait times should be published in the second half of this year.

All clients who receive a package will receive a letter with a unique referral code. Consumers can then can either take their referral code to their chosen provider or ask the contact centre to send an electronic referral on their behalf. Consumers are encouraged to research and negotiate with providers using the service finders so they can get the most out of their package. Signpost can do that for you. Just call us on 1800 744 676 and ask about our home care package service.

Until next time

Margaret and Sara

 

Asking the right questions when looking at aged care

Making choices about aged care services can be complex and overwhelming. A new resource ’10 Questions to ask’, is trying to make the journey into residential care a little easier by helping consumers ask the right questions when considering their options.

The ’10 Questions to ask’ series, initiated by the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) and created in collaboration with nurses, doctors and experts with experience in aged care, was launched at the New South Wales Seniors Festival in March 2017.

There are a series of leaflets covering the question you can ask a facility when trying to decide which to choose. The leaflets cover topics ranging from questions about facilities and lifestyle, cultural needs, palliative care, staffing, contracts and fees, and GP services in residential aged care.

You can download the leaflets here

 

Until next time,

 

Sara and Margaret

Why should you use an aged care specialist?

Here are the top 5 reasons to use an aged care specialist:

  1. Save money and time

You will probably spend hours trying to work aged care out yourself and still not have the right answers. We understand and get the best out of entitlements and subsidies and can minimise the costs of receiving care and support.  Nearly all our clients recover our fees in savings we have obtained for them.

  1. Talk to someone who knows aged care

The aged care system in Australia is very complicated.  Trying to understand the options, how much they cost and whether they are right for you is really hard, especially if you are under time pressure to get things sorted out.  There is no website with all the answers, the Government My Aged Care service is limited in scope, hospitals are keen to move you on and the interface with providers is usually a sales person.  Many people ask their friends who have been through it already but every situation is different. Signpost Aged Care Services know aged care; how it works, what it costs, how it is funded and the pros and cons of each of the options.

  1. Get the right advice for your situation

Signpost gives reliable impartial advice tailored to your wants and needs.  We are independent of any service provider and do not receive or pay any commissions or incentives.

  1. Reduce stress and be happy

We ensure people receive the support and care they need. Both the care recipient and the family and/or carers can rest assured that the right decision has been made.

  1. Make sure you get what you want , the best care that you can afford

Signpost can help you avoid having to take only what you can get.  We will assist you to get the best available option so you can have your choices met ensuring you get the care and support you want.

Call Signpost Aged Care Services now on 1800 744 676 if you need help or just want to have an obligation free chat about your aged care issue.

Until next time

Sara and Margaret

Changes to home care packages

About home care packages

Changes to Home Care packages

How will these Home Care changes effect my Mum?

Home care packages are subsidised packages of funding for care services in the home.  These are aimed at older people who wish to remain in their home but need some help.  There are four levels of packages as follows:

Level 1 – for basic care needs;

Level 2  – for low level care needs;

Level 3 – for intermediate level care needs; and

Level 4 – for high level care needs.

To be eligible for any of these packages, you need an ACAS/ACAT assessment which can be arranged by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Changes to home care packages

Over the past few years, the Federal Government, which is responsible for these packages, has been making a number of changes to the way home care packages are delivered.  The most significant recent change was to make the packages CDC (Consumer Directed Care) which meant that recipients/consumers were able to have more say in the services that they received.  This model is continuing with the latest changes coming into effect shortly.

At the moment, packages are allocated to approved providers who contact eligible consumers to fill the packages. From 27 February, 2017, packages will be allocated directly to consumers by My Aged Care according to priority protocols.  Once a consumer has been notified that they have been allocated a package, the consumer will be able to select providers from an approved list and will be able to move the package from one provider to another if they wish.

The purpose of these changes is to make the market for home services more competitive and to give consumers more choice.  However, it is still up to the consumer to find the best deal in the market.

If you have been assessed as eligible for a package before 27 February 2017 but have not found a provider by that date, you will have received a letter from My Aged Care advising you to contact them to say you would like to remain on the list to be allocated a package.  You will keep your same spot on the priority list even if you call after 27 February.

What to do when you get a package

  1. Work out whether it is cost effective for you to take up the package.  For example, a Level 1 or Level 2 packages is often less cost effective than paying for the services privately unless you are a full pensioner.  You can work out what the package might cost you by using the home care fee estimator on the My Aged Care website.
  2. Shop around for the best provider, both in terms of what they can offer and how much it will cost you.  Before you start shopping, have a list of the services you want.  Do you need transport or cleaning?  Do you need help showering or with shopping and food?  Do you need allied services or nursing?Understanding what you need before you start shopping will make the exercise much easier.

If you need help finding the best home care for you, we can do it for you. Call us on 1800 744 676 for an obligation free chat.

Until next time,

Sara and Margaret

www.signpostlms.com.au

I think it’s time mum or dad got some help

Welcome to 2017.  Many of us will have seen our parents over the summer break and noticed that things don’t seem to be going that well at home for them any more.  Maybe it is time to start looking for help.

Your parents may have been coping on their own for many years, but you might have noticed  some things recently that make you worry. Their increasing forgetfulness, the state of their home or their frailty may be starting to worry you.  If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to start thinking and talking about aged care.

This is a big decision in your mum or dad’s life, so it’s important you start talking to them about their options as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may find you need to make the decision in a rush after an adverse health event and that means they will probably have to compromise.

Your parents may be able to cope better with help at home and that can often be enough to give the family peace of mind and help parents come to terms with getting older and needing help.  They might be considering moving into a smaller home and are thinking of a retirement village or an aged care facility.

The transition to aged care isn’t straightforward.  Understanding the options and knowing where to start is often confusing and difficult.

That’s where Signpost comes in.  We can help you understand the options so you can make an informed choice and we can manage the whole transition for you including helping you to select the best provider,  negotiating the terms with the provider and doing the paperwork.

So if you’re contemplating aged care for a loved one and don’t know where to start – don’t delay. Call us today on 1800 744 676 for an obligation-free chat on how we can assist you and your family to get the best aged care outcome.

 

Until next time,

Sara and Margaret

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