How to find the right care services
If you’re searching for quality care services, either for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to understand all your options to make the right choice for your situation.
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Receiving care at home is a popular option for seniors seeking flexible care services to help them maintain their independence.
What is home care?
Home care involves the provision of care services into the home, which may include:
- Food preparation
- Mobility assistance
- Personal care
- Nursing and clinical services
These services are delivered by trained home care attendants and are arranged to meet the person’s individual needs while allowing them to remain in their home and lead a more independent and supported lifestyle.
The Federal Government offers different levels of home care packages for people who require varied amounts of assistance:
Level 1 – basic care needs
Level 2 – low-level care needs
Level 3 – intermediate care needs
Level 4 – high-level care needs
The government provides a different subsidy amount for the different levels of packages, which is paid to a home care provider to lower the cost of the care services.
To receive a home care package, apply through government website My Aged Care, which will guide you through the assessment process.
How has the home care industry changed?
In February 2017, the Federal Government made changes to the home care package system by implementing a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) approach to give seniors more choice.
After receiving a government-funded home care package, consumers are now able to use it with the home care provider of their choice. Previously, a provider would be assigned to each person based on their location.
This change allows consumers to assess the benefits and disadvantages of different providers’ offerings and select the one that is best for their needs.
What are the downsides of home care?
Home care may seem like an ideal solution if you or a loved one is beginning to need extra help, but there are some disadvantages you should consider.
- There are many applicants for home care and a limited number of vacant packages, meaning there can be a significant waiting period between being approved for a home care package and being able to access the care services you need. This waiting period differs from person to person but could be more than 12 months. According to a September report released by the Department of Health, around 89,000 seniors are waiting to receive the care they need.
- The time it takes for a home care attendant to travel to your house, provide the service and travel back all counts towards your home care package. Depending on the location of your home, this can leave you with less time for the provision of care services.
- When someone is coming to deliver services in your home, it’s important to know and trust them. Home care providers tend to have many home care attendants working for them, meaning that you may not see the same person from week to week. For some seniors, this can be a cause for concern regarding their security, comfort and familiarity with staff.
Have you considered a retirement village?
Although retirement villages are popular as a maintenance-free, social environment with added lifestyle benefits, they can also provide added care services for residents who need them.
How can a retirement village help meet my care needs?
The majority of RetireAustralia’s villages offer both independent living units and care apartments, which provide residents with additional care services such as cleaning, linen laundry, meals and personal care.
Residents in care apartments maintain independent lifestyles and are an integrated part of the wider village community while receiving extra support when they need it. They also have access to 24-hour on-site staff for added peace of mind.
In selected villages, residents in independent living units can also access care services on a flexible, user-pays basis. This enables them to receive support when they choose, whether that means a night off from cooking or daily assistance during times of ill health.
The services and support on offer in retirement villages have countless benefits for residents. One of the most significant is that retirement village residents tend to enter aged care five years later than those living in a family home, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Unlike seniors receiving in-home care, retirement village residents also benefit from being part of a community of people at the same stage of life, which can lower the risk of social isolation and depression and contribute to increased quality of life.
RetireAustralia’s home care services
RetireAustralia will soon be able to offer government-subsidised care services to residents with approved home care packages.
RetireAustralia’s trusted, trained staff will be able to provide a range of services, from domestic assistance to clinical nursing care. Their close proximity will minimise staff travel time and optimise the time spent on service provision, as well as allowing for more flexibility and immediacy.
RetireAustralia received Approved Provider status in early 2017 and plans to offer its first home care package in early 2018.
What is the difference between a retirement village and aged care?
Retirement villages are independent communities where residents can obtain extra support when needed, while aged care facilities (also known as assisted living facilities or nursing homes) cater to those who require a high level of daily support.
Generally, residents receive a high level of clinical nursing care as well as services like cleaning, laundry and assistance with showering and dressing. They may have less flexibility and autonomy than those living at home or in a retirement village, but will be thoroughly supported and monitored. If you or your loved one have significant care needs, aged care may be the best option.
That said, aged care is not the only option when a senior can no longer live fully independently. For many people, retirement villages can be a more suitable and enjoyable alternative.
Along with the benefits outlined above, retirement villages foster independence in a number of ways:
- Residents are free to come and go as they please
- Couples can stay together, even as one person’s needs change
- Pets are welcome in the majority of villages
- Residents can choose to participate in a wide range of social activities and events
- Residents are enabled to live with autonomy and dignity
The variety of options available when seeking care services can be confusing, but there are many resources available to help you make a choice that suits your situation.
If you’re interested in learning more about how RetireAustralia’s Central Coast retirement villages could help meet your care needs, fill out your details below. One of our friendly team members will be in touch shortly.