Self-managed Home Care Packages Explained
When You Want Complete Control
Should You Self-manage Your Home Care Package?
One of the purposes of a Home Care Package is to help you keep your independence as you age. Perhaps it’s your goal to continue gardening in your yard, or to enjoy regular visits with your neighbour. Perhaps you want to continue hosting family gatherings in your home. But it’s likely that your independence is something you value.
Managing your Home Care Package yourself can be a way that you continue to exercise your independence, choice, and control. After getting a home care package, you have a number of options to spend these funds to ensure your needs, goals and preferences are met. Therefore, it’s beneficial for you to become knowledgeable about exactly how and why your package funds are spent. And since no one understands your aged care needs better than you, in many ways, no one is better qualified to manage your care.
What is a Self-managed Home Care Package?
Every Home Care Package (HCP) requires an approved provider to assign a care manager to oversee the package. This is to ensure your care and services remain tailored and reflective of your changing needs and preferences, and to ensure the care and services comply with the national standards and legislation.
In a fully managed plan, the approved providers’ care manager undertakes a greater role in coordinating care and services under your home care package. At The CareSide, this is done in partnership with you and those important to you.
In a self-managed plan, you will have greater control of choices and decision making relating to your care and services. You may also take a more active role in completing your care plan, budget, identifying and engaging workers, and reviewing your services. The approved provider you choose is still an active
participant in supporting you to manage your HCP. At The CareSide, we will help you each step of the way including completing and adjusting your care plan and budget, and helping you engage the workers you want.
Not all providers offer self-managed home care packages, so if that’s important to you, you’ll need to choose a provider who offers the options you want. You have the right to choose how involved you want to be in managing your care. You can decide which aspects of your care you want to manage and which aspects you want your provider to handle. Self-management doesn’t have to be all or nothing; you have a choice about how much you want to do and the approved provider will do the rest.
What’s Involved in Self-managing Your Home Care Package?
There are several key areas of management that the care manager needs to address. You can choose to manage all of these, or you can just self-manage the aspects that matter most to you. Either way, you’ll need to work closely with your provider to ensure that all the tasks are taken care of and that your spending and services are all in compliance with government regulations. Your provider can also help you ensure that the ways you spend your funding is in compliance with the guidelines of your approved Home Care Package.
Managing your care plan and compliance
All types of Home Care, including a self-managed package, are required to follow your individualised Care Plan. Your Care Plan is a document that outlines your goals, assessed care needs and strategies to progress those goals. The CareSide will develop, review and adjust the care plan in partnership with you.
Choosing your worker
Even if you’re self-managing, your provider is legally responsible to ensure that the care you’re receiving meets the legislation and Aged Care Quality Standards. If using The CareSide, we will complete checks on workers (or organisations) you would like to use for your services. This includes checking ABNs and police clearances and ensuring they have the required skills to provide the care and services you want, and ensuring adequate insurances exist.
Hiring and managing carers
Having greater control of who provides your care and services and when, is one of the main reasons why people choose to self-manage. You are able to identify individuals or organisations you want to provide your care and services. For example, it may or may not be The CareSide’s qualified and kind staff. If it is people external to us, we will need to do due diligence to ensure they have the right skills and background. This is because your provider is responsible for ensuring care and services including care planning and budgeting is legally compliant.
Managing and spending your funds
When you’re self-managing your Home Care Package, we’ll work with you to develop, track, and adjust your budget. This is to ensure package money is used for eligible care and services over the year. We encourage and welcome self-managed clients to take an active role in managing their budget and if you see an option to improve, adjust, or are looking for a service change then contact us to discuss.
What are the Advantages of a Self-managed Package?
The biggest advantage of self-management is that you have full choice and control over all your spending. You’ll always have full transparency about exactly what your options and every choice you make regarding your care. If your needs change and you need to adjust your care package, you’ll have a clear picture of how the changes could impact your budget and your care.
Self-management can also save money on home care package services, since many providers charge high management fees and offer significant discounts for self-management. (The CareSide charges no additional fees for full management.)
Finally, many providers only allow you to schedule carers within a broad window of time instead of specific appointments. One of the main self-management benefits is that it allows you to schedule carers directly, ensuring that your support workers arrive at a time that’s convenient for you. The CareSide always guarantees a specific arrival time for your care appointments. This article will show you how to transfer home care providers to get started with The CareSide right away.
What are the Disadvantages of a Self-managed Package?
Although self-managing your home care package does offer some benefits, it also comes with some challenges. Even with self-managed home care packages, your provider is still legally required to host your package funds and to ensure your care and spending are compliant with your package, so you’ll still need to coordinate with them to approve your carers, access your funds, and track your spending. You’ll have more hands-on input into every detail of your care when you self-manage, but you’ll also spend a lot more time and energy on administrative tasks. Different providers offer varying levels of support for administration in self-managed packages, and some may require you to meet their requirements without providing sufficient support.
Self-managing your package also can involve some additional risk. For example, if your care needs change due to a shift in your health or circumstances, then you’ll be responsible in the first instance for contacting The CareSide. We will work with you in reviewing and changing your plan, as needed. This can be challenging to do at the same time you’re managing changes in your health. The CareSide helps to alleviate these risks by contacting you regularly, even when you’re self-managed, to ensure you are managing o’kay and to see if there have been any changes to your health or circumstances that affect your care, services, or budget.
Is Self-managing Your Home Care Package the Right Choice for You?
Whether you self-manage your package or choose a fully-managed plan, you’ll still have choice and control over your support workers, your schedule, your spending, and your care. Both self-management and full management will prioritise your preferences and needs in designing your care. If your care needs are minor, then self-management could be a good fit. You can learn more about what’s involved in self-management from the COTA Australia self-management resources.
If you have more complex care needs or don’t have time to fully manage the administration of your care, contact The CareSide to learn about our free full case management services. The CareSide is one of Australia’s top home care providers, contact us using the buttons at the top of the page to let us know how we can help with your home care package- self-managed or not.