Why use Care Management when receiving Home Care
Once, you have finally gone through the hoops required to get your Home Care Package, you want to get the most out of it, right? But what does that mean and how do you ensure you really get the personalised home care services that you need?
The benefits of care management and great coordination have been well researched. We know that it is likely that by the time a person requires a Home Care Package they usually have a number of chronic health conditions that require different types of care from a range of professionals. It was found in a large study, that 56% of home care recipients without a Care Manager coordinating the logistics of home care services, were more likely to be admitted to residential care, over a period of a year1.
It will be little surprise that a large part of ensuring you receive the right support occurs in the administration and management of your home care. It is easy to think that care management is purely an administrative activity, but quality care management is first and foremost a partnership between a client and their Care Manager. A Care Manager is there to listen to and empower their client by providing advice, assessment, monitoring and planning for all your in-home care needs. These home care needs should include:
- Service coordination and communication between aged care service providers
- Scheduling of all in-home care services provided
- Responsive adjustments to the delivery of in-home care when circumstances or preferences change
- An accessible contact point for families and care recipients anytime there are questions about care in the home
- Assessing, identifying, and managing safety risks for individual ageing in place
- Regular communication with families
- Regular liaison with aged care professionals including GP’s, allied health etc.
- Regular review of the plan to ensure its relevance and currency
- Coordination and supply of equipment, consumables, medications etc.
An optimised, personalised and well-communicated plan that is regularly reviewed supports the best client outcomes. That is why many people choose to have their package managed by their home care agency rather than dealing with the administrative burden that can come with self-management.
The provision of care management by home care agencies, like Home Care Assistance, is bound by government charters and standards to ensure a consumer-directed approach, still giving you choice, flexibility, and control over the services you receive, without the hassle of having to manage the services yourself. Ongoing reviews and discussions are required to take place to ensure services are always meeting your changing needs, you have access to the right information to support your decision making, and you have a clear understanding of how your Home Care Package spend is being used.
As a professional service, you can use your Home Care Package to pay for care management. It is a government requirement for home care providers to meet pricing transparency requirements, including publishing prices on the My Aged Care website and providing pricing schedules to care recipients. Price transparency helps you understand what you are spending your package on, as well as be able to compare prices across different home care providers to ensure that your Home Care Package is optimised to keep you safe in your own home.
If you prefer to self-manage your in-home care rather than engage a home care agency, it is important to be aware of the work involved. Self-managing means you need to have access to a pool of experts to regularly assess your needs and help you navigate support options. You will also be responsible for the communication flow between different in-home, community and health care service providers to ensure your care is holistic and not siloed. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is because it can be, and unfortunately the absence of quality care management can mean missed services, declining care quality, delayed care transitions or even worse – a preventable hospital admission. Ironically, poor care management can also mean that Home Care Package funds go unspent, as opposed to being well utilised. The good news is, that Ageing Care professionals can advise you on what and how much you can spend, and if there will be additional costs incurred.
At Home Care Assistance, care management is the role of our Care Managers. They work tirelessly with you and your family to create:
- A personalised Home Care agreement
- A personalised care plan, based on a budget and goals that you are comfortable with to ensure the highest standard of professionalism is provided by all team members and caregivers
Care Managers work directly with you and your family to perform a comprehensive in-person evaluation and create a plan that will serve your best interests. Care Managers also coordinate health care professionals and maintain clear lines of communication across professional services with you and your family. They are consistently there for you throughout your journey, ensuring you are happy with your services and receiving the best value from your Home Care package.