Consumer confusion over new home care process

Older couple waiting

A recent survey conducted by the Department of Health has revealed confusion from consumers over the steps involved in accessing home care packages, particularly from existing consumers needing to upgrade their care to a higher-level package.

Last week, officials from the Department of Health confirmed that the government had released more than 30,000 home care packages under the new system since May 26, of which 33 per cent were upgrades for existing consumers from lower level packages. A further 25% of the packages released were new packages, and 16% were considered high priority.

The survey of 500 consumers revealed that people felt like they needed more than their allocated 56 days to find a provider and that many didn’t know what to do next to activate their package after receiving their letter. (48 per cent of people who has not yet taken up their assigned package felt like they needed more time than the 56 days allocated to select a provider, 45 per cent told the department they did not understand what they needed to do next to activate the package).

With lengthy national waiting times, and concerns over assessment delays by the Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT), accessing home care packages is becoming a minefield for consumers, with uncertainty over the process and steps needed to navigate through each stage.

Consumers who have received their activation letter from My Aged Care are encouraged to make contact with their preferred providers to compare costs and how many hours care they offer.

St Ives Home Care Chief Executive Officer said they were seeing a lot of confusion from consumers from the outset but is encouraging people to ring providers or My Aged Care  if they have questions or doubts:

“We are encouraging people to speak to us or their preferred provider or call My Aged Care and chat through their options if they are concerned or confused. A provider can often help with interim or emergency help, explain other support options, but can also talk you through the various steps involved”.

“Just having a conversation may offer some clarity and reduce stress in what for some is already an unsettling process,” Ms De Ronchi said.

To help ease the confusion, St Ives Home Care is offering complimentary face to face consultations to all people navigating through the process, providing the opportunity to speak directly to a member of staff. The service is obligation free and can take place in the comfort of your own home. Bookings can be made by calling your local office or via contact us here.

Looking to better understand the home care process? Download our free infographic: 7 steps to finding the right home care for your loved one, which will simplify the process and guide you through step by step.

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Original report by Australian Ageing Agenda.

27 June 2017

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