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Self-managing your home care package delivers more hours of support from people you choose

Recent government reforms, in particular consumer directed care (CDC) of home care packages, are designed to allow ageing Australians to continue living independently in their own homes and communities, with choice and dignity, for as long as possible.  By giving consumers individualised funding and the right to make choices, the Government also hopes the market will respond with better value and more innovative options

It is possible for consumers to negotiate with a home care provider to enable them to self-manage their home care package. By self-managing consumers are able to get significantly more hours, in some cases double the hours from the same funding, while being able to choose and self-schedule independent care and support workers based on their preferences. Consumers are able to build a team of support that allows the consumer to age actively and remain engaged in their community and their life long interests.

A number of platforms enable consumers to directly select their support workers according to their individual needs and preferences. Or they may know people in their community or network they’d like to involve in their care. An example of such a platform is www.bettercaring.com.au. To find out how Better Caring works visit their website.

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2 Responses to Self-managing your home care package delivers more hours of support from people you choose

  1. Hilarey says:

    I’d like more explanation of how self-managing works because I don’t feel like it’s an option for me at all.
    My provider holds the money and I have no direct access to it. They have to approve anything I ask for. It’s easy to get a couple of hours a week of home help, plus taxi vouchers on occasion. It’s not easy to figure out what else, or how else, I can use the money. It’s not enough for really big expenses (like moving house, which I need to do before next summer), and it’s easier for me to cover smaller expenses myself than go through all the explanations and paperwork.
    Right now my provider has sent me an invoice for over $700. This is money that the government has assessed that I owe to them on the basis of an assets/income test. This amount apparently has built up over a number of months. Nobody from either DHS or the provider ever explained to me how this works. There has always been more than enough money in my aged care account, regardless of other payments made from it, to cover this, and I think I assumed that the provider would deduct this from my account. I have of course queried that with the provider and asked them to take it out of my account — I really want to hang on to my own money because I do actually have control of it. But now I’m afraid to use anything from my aged care account in case there isn’t enough to pay the government!
    Actually I’m now wondering whether I would be better off without the Aged Care Plan. I know I’d miss the extra funding, but it would be so much easier just to manage my own money — and self-management with the Aged Care Plan doesn’t exist as far as I can see.
    I’m confused, and it bothers me particularly because I’ve always been a better-than-average manager. Now I feel like I’m losing control even over the money in my own personal bank account.

  2. Hi Hilarey,

    thank you for your comment.
    We suggest you to have a look at Home Care Today website to see how home care packages work. You should have much more control over how your Home Care Package funds are spent, and can change providers if you are not happy with the current one. You will need an approved provider to host your package, but you could find one that would allow you to self-manage through a provider like Better Caring. You could then choose your own care workers.

    If you like you can call us on 1300 13 50 90 (M-F / 9:30AM TO 1PM) and have a chat with one of our information officers.

    Have a nice day!
    COTA Team

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