There are a lot of things to consider when looking for a in-home Care provider and the process can become quite overwhelming. Knowing which things are the most important can help save you time and worry, and ensure that you find a great provider who will meet your needs.
With over 900 in-home care providers throughout Australia, you have a lot of options! Whether it’s understanding the types of services available, evaluating provider credibility or determining the associated costs, there are several key factors to consider.
Here are the five most important aspects to look at when searching for a Home Care provider.
1. Available in-home care services
Not all providers offer the same services, so it can be really helpful to have an idea of what you want before you go searching for a provider. Providers do their very best but if you have a long wish-list, it might be difficult for one provider to meet every one of your needs.
At CareAbout, we recommend jotting down all the things you’d like from an in-home care provider. If you have a lot of things that you’re hoping to receive, try sorting them into three columns: must-haves, good-to-haves, and nice-to-haves. This will help you narrow it down your priorities, ensuring you’re getting the services that are most important to you.
Home Care service categories
The type of Home Care Package provider you choose will depend on the services that you require. Some Home Care providers offer basic services only, whereas others offer more specialised services. Basic Home Care services include things like household chores, meal preparation and personal care such as showering. Providers who offer specialised care will have services such as dementia or Parkinson’s Disease support, respite care, or nursing services.
Some providers also offer additional services such as physical therapy which can help you to maintain or improve current mobility and flexibility, enhancing your quality of life. If you have language or cultural preferences, there are providers who have bi- or multilingual carers available.
Finding which services are the most important to you is a key factor in narrowing down your list of potential Home Care providers.
2. Care worker availability and flexibility
After spending time waiting for your Home Care Package to be allocated to you, you don’t want to wait any longer for your care to begin. That’s why finding a provider who has immediate availability is important. You also want to make sure that the provider you choose has enough staff to ensure that if your regular care workers are away, there are others who can step in to continue your care.
A flexible provider is able to swiftly adjust to any changes in your care needs. This is vital, as your needs may change and having a provider who can accommodate this quickly can make a big difference. Look for a provider who reviews your care plan regularly and makes sure the services they are providing are always in line with your specific needs.
Ask a prospective provider when your services will commence once you sign with them – if they say straight away, it’s a good indicator that they have staff available.
3. Cost of in-home care provider services
The costs of Home Care are the number one thing that people like to compare. Different providers all charge different amounts and some providers will charge one type of fee but not another. Getting your head around it all can be quite difficult!
Costs are important but sometimes paying a little more for better flexibility or a higher standard of care is beneficial and can give you peace of mind. Lower cost providers may have a lean workforce and might not be able to provide ongoing, consistent care if their regular care workers are unavailable.
Understanding the type of care and services you require can be helpful in choosing a provider and maximising your Home Care Package funds. Some providers have a lower hourly rate for services but a higher rate for care management fees. If the care you need requires a lot of care management, you may want to look for a provider who has mid-high range hourly service rates yet lower care management rates, for example.
Each provider’s prices are published on the My Aged Care website but comparing them one by one is very labour intensive. CareAbout can save you a lot of time and energy by comparing our large panel of quality providers and finding one that suits your needs, at no cost or obligation to you.
4. Credibility and Reputation
Entrusting a loved one into the care of another can be a big step and for many, a leap of faith. Knowing that the provider you choose is reliable and has a good reputation is crucial for peace of mind.
Don’t feel shy or uncomfortable asking a potential provider to run through their credentials with you. Make sure they have all the necessary certifications, that their staff are well-trained (and receive ongoing training and professional development) and there aren’t any sanctions against them.
Checking online reviews can be a great way to get a ‘feel’ for the provider. However, bear in mind that online reviews can be a little skewed and aren’t always an accurate representation.
If you have friends or family members who have previous experience with a Home Care provider, ask if they’d recommend them. However, everyone’s needs are unique and just because one in-home care provider works well for your friend, it doesn’t mean they’ll be the right one for you too.
5. Quality of HCP Providers
When it comes to the care of a loved one, finding a provider who has quality service delivery and customer care is essential. At a bare minimum, confirm that any provider you are looking into meets the Aged Care Quality Standards.
Care workers should all be properly qualified to work in the Aged Care industry – make sure you ask any potential provider what their benchmarks and screening processes are for employee qualifications. Do their staff receive regular training and professional development to ensure they stay on top of any care and industry changes?
At CareAbout, we take quality seriously, which is why we only work with a select panel of providers. Our network partners must all meet high-quality benchmarks and are carefully evaluated to ensure they are customer-focused in every way. Save yourself time and uncertainty by speaking to one of our Care Advisers on 1300 713 407 and get expert help at ZERO cost.