How to start home care services quickly
Help, I need home care services in a hurrySuddenly finding yourself caring for a senior loved one who needs help is distressing. You might feel out of your depth. Your first contact is likely going to be their GP or other medical professional to take care of urgent medical needs. Outside the doctor’s office, though, you have a huge number of support options to access. I’ve been there, unexpectedly taking on a primary carer role for my nanna and I remember how difficult it was to find the information I needed. Here are some key steps to help you know how to start home care services quickly.
We’ve realised we need home care services
The kind of home help services you need to arrange will be the ones that meet your senior loved one’s needs. So you’ll need to figure out what all those needs are (or we can help you).
- Do they need ongoing healthcare services?
- Do they need personal care?
- Do they need help around the home?
- Do they need some essential supplies delivered?
- Do they need support for their mental health and emotional wellbeing?
A senior person feeling distressed might not be able to communicate their needs clearly. You’re likely to need the advice and guidance of a health professional. Unfortunately our valued GPs have a limited time in their appointments to focus on the treatment of the illness or injury. You might need more information about your senior loved one’s circumstances.
Perhaps you haven’t visited your senior loved one recently until this incident happened. You’ll be bringing yourself up to speed on how you can best support them.
Researching all the providers with their different service offerings and finding the right combination of care providers to meet all your senior loved one’s needs will take a lot of time if you’re unfamiliar with the services and the aged care system.
Need home based care services now? You can book in for a Holistic Aged Care Assessment.
Do you know how to start home care services?If there’s time to plan ahead for home care services, you’d start with My Aged Care and get onto waiting lists for subsidised services. But if your senior loved one has a sudden illness or injury and needs care right away, you could be better off engaging private services directly for the meantime.
Any service provider you arrange will need to know some basic information about the senior person, so you’ll be providing some paperwork, including:
- senior person’s details
- medical treatment history
- medications taken and any allergies
- power of attorney
- and more.
The services will sometimes have up-front payment arrangements, or a monthly payment plan and you’ll need to find a home care solution to suit the senior person’s budget. It’s a good idea for a trusted family member to be able to make payments on behalf of a senior who needs home care services, if they’re not in a position to take that action themselves.
Starting home care services is, well, just the startSo, you’ve been to the senior’s GP, or other health care provider, to ensure continued management of the health condition.
You’ve arranged private home care service providers while on the waiting list for government services via My Aged Care.
Even when you outsource home care services, you may be filling the role of carer throughout this period. Especially when the situation arose from an injury or sudden-onset illness, this is a demanding role which adds a unique stress and strain to the carer’s life. There is help at hand, and it’s worthwhile connecting with The Carer Gateway for support.
A senior’s needs can change over the time they’re receiving home care services. Their mobility could improve so some services could be dropped, or they could need physio for movement or benefit from senior social activities if they’ve been home-bound for a while.
You’ll need to monitor a senior’s wellbeing following an illness or injury, or even engage ongoing case management when a senior is receiving home care services. Their medical care or other home care services can be adjusted to their changing needs.
Arranging home care services in a hurry is challenging
There’s a lot you’ll need to consider when you’re taking on the role of coordinating home based care for a senior after a sudden health incident.
- What are their needs?
- What home care services are out there?
- Are home care services needed short term to recover from an injury or long term?
- How will the senior person budget for these services?
- What documentation do you need to provide to engage each service provider?
- What arrangements are in place to check in with the senior’s healthcare professionals?
- As a carer, are you looking after yourself?
How we can help:
For all the support you need after you’ve left the GP’s office, Empower Aged Care can take care of the arrangements for home care services.
- A detailed assessment of needs, in conjunction with a senior person’s GP, is exactly where we start.
- We’ll identify what services will meet a senior’s health and wellbeing needs, and take care of all the arrangements in close consultation with families and all relevant medical care providers.
- Nicole’s experience extends from a career in allied healthcare services, to lived experience navigating the aged care system, to years of consulting on home care services.
- Consider how much time you’d spend researching all of these things. Ensure your senior loved one receives all the care they need, promptly.