How to compare and choose a home care provider
3rd June 2019
Finding the right home care provider can be challenging when you have endless options and choices.
To help make the task a little easier for yourself, or someone you know, we’ve compiled some great resources and handy tips.
Tips, tricks and tools for searching
The first thing you’ll need to do is search for providers and develop a list of candidates.
Your first port of call to build a list of potential providers might be to search for and compare providers using the My Aged Care service finder tool - where you can check what services a provider offers, their details, fees and compliance history. You will also be able to use the My Aged Care price comparison tool from July 1.
We also recommend asking your community and social circle to see if they can recommend a provider. You could also talk to your GP or medical practitioner.
Benetas Relationships Manager Alisha Sortino says “Home Care is not something you shop around for until it is meaningful to your life, so you may not be as aware of home care brands as other brands like Myer, Target or K-Mart. This means you may initially rely on the experiences of people close to you.”
After researching, we recommend narrowing your initial list down with a selection of places that people you know have said good things about or that fit your personal criteria. Then you can start meeting personally with your candidates.
Meet with your providers
We suggest not meeting with too many providers at once, as it can get overwhelming. Alisha says “perhaps narrow down your search to 3 providers, then meet with them. If you still haven’t found a good fit for you, start to look at another group of 3 next.”
It’s handy to prepare a list of questions to ask your provider, especially about the criteria most important to you.
Your meeting with a provider might be a good time to find out how long they have been operating. Ask yourself: “Are they an experienced operator with a good track record, will they be here tomorrow?”
Alisha, suggests that a good question to ask a potential provider is ‘what sort of background checks does your organisation do on the services and staff you arrange for me?’ Their answer should bring extra peace-of-mind.
Narrow it down
Now that you’ve met with some home care providers, start thinking about how they align with your wants and needs. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- Have they connected you with clear, reliable and relevant information?
- Are they are one-stop shop? Can you get all of your required services with the one provider?
- Are they specialists in the aged care journey?
- Is it important to you that they also offer other health services, retirement living and/ or residential care?
- Is it important to you whether the provider is not-for-profit or religiously affiliated?
- Has the provider been transparent in explaining the fees and charges? Are you aware of all the costs involved?
- Have they discussed how they can evolve with your changing circumstances?
Alisha highlights the need to find a provider that will ‘grow’ with your needs. You might like some help with shopping and transport now, but over time you may require a gardener, occupational therapist, podiatrist or support connecting socially.
What does your gut tell you?
Alisha also says it’s important to listen to how you feel around the person who comes to meet you and explain the home care their organisation provides.
As Alisha explains, “when you meet somebody you will notice how they treat you. Are they kind? Do you get the answers that you need? Is the information clear? If all of this is a yes, then you may feel like it could be the beginning of an authentic relationship.”
Instinct doesn’t replace research and consultation, but your gut feel should tell you a lot.
For free support and advice or to begin your aged care journey, call Benetas on 1300 23 63 82. Our aged care experts can also arrange a free in-home consultation to help you discover your personalised options and what ‘home care’ could mean for you.