Tag: aged care

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

Landing

 

Looking for aged care – where do you start?

Where do you start if you are looking for aged care?

If you have a parent or loved one who is not coping at home, working out what to do or where to start with aged care can be very difficult.  If you google aged care, you are likely to come up with more than 20 million hits and most of the early responses are residential aged care.  So where to do you start if you are looking for aged care?  Here are some tips:

Talk to your loved one

Discuss your concerns with your parent or loved one.  You will not be able to do anything unless the loved one agrees.  In our experience, it is not unusual for a parent to say they think they are coping fine, even if it requires you to do a lot of running around.  It may take quite a while for the parent to agree to help.  Just be patient; it is not easy getting old and coming to terms with the thought of losing independence or needing help.  Here is a useful article about how to have that kind of conversation.

Work out what care is needed

Think about the kind of assistance that is needed.  Is it help with domestic tasks or more that that?  Are they lonely or forgetting to take their medications?  Defining the problem will help you  work out the best solution.  Most people want to remain in their home with some help with daily living tasks.  In that case, home help would be best but try to work out what kind of help at home is needed, otherwise, the loved one will quickly say it is not working for them.  If the loved one is lonely then it could be worth considering some form of community living such as a retirement village or residential facility.  If they need a considerable amount of help and care, then an aged care residential facility could be the answer.

Get an ACAS/ACAT assessment

Get an ACAS/ACAT assessment done through myagedcare.gov.au.  This is a free assessment done by the government to assess whether an older person is eligible for subsidised care.  You can read more about ACAS/ACAT assessments in our earlier article which is here.  Getting it done early helps with planning and can be very useful if an emergency arises.

Shop around for providers

Once you have worked out what kind of help is needed, start looking for providers and work out the cost.  Make sure your loved one can afford the type of care they are looking at.  Good care is always available and affordable for people of all means; those that need assistance and cannot afford it can get subsidised care.  Remember to shop around for care.  Even if it is subsidised care, there are considerable differences in what you can get and how much it will cost amongst providers of both home care and residential care.

If you need assistance working out the options or understanding the costs, contact us for help and advice on 1800 744 676.

Until next time,

Sara and Margaret

*Unless they no longer have capacity.  Just because they have a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimers does not mean they do not have capacity.  If they have lost capacity, it can be very complicated to take control of their situation without their consent.  Contact us if you need help in this situation.

How to avoid lonely old age

A while ago we went to the COTA Australia annual conference. COTA Australia is the peak national organisation representing the rights, needs and interests of older Australians. The President of COTA, a very impressive woman in her 70’s welcomed the forum and reflected on the history of COTA and its achievements During the course of her speech, she mentioned that when COTA started in the 1960’s the single biggest issue facing Australians of old age was social isolation and that remains the single biggest issue today.

We see strong evidence of this with many of our clients. With age, many of your friends and associates have passed away or are too ill to socialise, you are treated very differently; often ignored and your opinion doesn’t count, your family is too busy working and raising their own children or grandchildren to spend much time with you. And it is hard to make new friends. Social isolation is most prevalent for those who have lost their partners, particularly when they have spent many years caring for them. There is a great sense of loss of purpose when the person you have cared for passes away.

So here are some suggestions to deal with social isolation;

  • remain active. Join a group that has some form of exercise. There is likely to be some sort of local walking group or community sports centre that has fitness or exercise classes for older people.
    join a club. There are loads of clubs for older Australians. The best known are U3A and Probus which each have local chapters.
  • contact the local council to see what activities they have. Most councils have programs for older Australians and many even assist with transport to and from the event.
  • offer your services to a charity. Many charities do not allow older Australians to volunteer because they cannot insure them in the workplace but there are always some that are not ageist.
  • learn to use a computer. Local libraries often provide education sessions and help and there are private organisations devoted to helping older Australians as well. We have several clients who have learned to use Skype and it has changes their lives.
  • move into some form of community living, perhaps a retirement village or an aged care facility.
  • find transport alternatives. Often many people are isolated because they cannot get out and about. Contact you local council about transport assistance, apply for the multi purpose taxi program (which gives you half priced taxis) or apply for a home care package either through your council or through the ACAS process and use that to pay for someone to take you out.

These are just some suggestions. The trick is to think about what you like and then make the effort to do it and spend what money you can enjoying yourself. You have earned it.

Contact us if you need more help or advice.

Until next time.

Sara and Margaret

Organising a break for carers

Carers need a break

Carers provide countless hours of care and support for our ageing population.  Sometimes they need a break.  This can be organised through respite care.

Respite options

There are different types of respite which are outlined below:
1. In Home Respite, this is when a carer comes in to your home so the carer can get a break for a few hours or the carer can take the person requiring respite out for a while. This type of care can be delivered during the day or overnight.
2. Centre Day Based Respite. This respite takes place at a day centre or club. It offers activities and outings and usually run between 10am – 3pm. Some of these centres offer a pick up and drop off service as well.
3. Residential Respite Care. This is for individuals who need help every day and therefore enter in to a aged care residential facility or a supported residential service for a short stay. This can be planned for a rest break or the carer may be going on a holiday.

Residential Respite Care can be paid for privately (cost varies from facility to facility) or through subsidised services.  It can cost as little as about $50 per day. In order to have access to a subsidised bed care recipient must have an ACAS assessment approving respite. ACAS is a free service and an assessment can be organised by calling MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422.

Residential Respite Care that is accessed through an ACAS entitles individuals to up to 63 days respite per financial year, most aged care residential facilities require respite to be taken in 2 week blocks.

Not all aged care facilities have respite beds so plan ahead and make a booking.

Help in a emergency

Don’t forget there is also access to emergency respite care which can be organised by contacting your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30am–5.00pm) or 1800 059 059 outside business hours.

If you need help organising a break, call us on 1800 744 676 and we can help.

Until next time

Margaret and Sara