The ideal in-home Support Professional should go beyond the basics to provide personal care in addition to physical health support. It’s important to remember that for the professional support person, being invited into a vulnerable person’s home is a privilege. The sensitivities involved mean that it’s vital that neither side takes the relationship for granted.
WHERE TO START
Before you get too far into researching care providers, it is a good idea to have your care needs and financial situation assessed.
For the older person, start by registering with the government service called My Aged Care. It provides access to the aged care system in Australia including in-home support. My Aged Care will then arrange for a health professional to discuss your current health, medical history and lifestyle to learn about what you may require.
You will also complete an income assessment so the government knows how much, if anything, you can afford to contribute towards the cost of your care.
Once you know the level of funding you have available and your home care package is in place, you should begin making a list of the things you are looking for in your home care provider. This may relate to the type of Support Professional you would like, their availability or the range of services you would like. You should consider how needs may change over time.
FINDING IN-HOME CARE
Ways to find in-home care include referrals from health care professionals and recommendations from people who work with in-home support providers.
Just Better Care Australia People & Culture Advisor, Kristle Van Biljon, says there are many advantages to working with a provider, not least of which includes ensuring the quality of their employees. Kristle says a quality provider will ensure they foster inclusiveness, promote diversity and embrace the unique skills and qualities of all employees and customers.
When you’ve drawn up a shortlist, it’s important to meet before committing to any one provider.
• How long has the provider been in business
• Is the provider insured and licensed?
• What services are provided?
• Can they work to your schedule?
• What are the costs and how are the payments handled?
• What is the cancellation policy?
• Are emergency call services available?
You should request details about what internal processes the provider undergoes to match staff to customers. This will give you some insight into how seriously they take their duty of care, and offer you peace of mind when it comes to any specific gender, language, spiritual or cultural preferences you may have.
Kristle says Just Better Care meets the industry quality standards for both aged care and disability services. In addition, Just Better Care employees are trained to treat customers with respect and dignity, while ensuring their privacy and confidentiality is never compromised.
She says all staff undergo a comprehensive screening, quality and training process – including police checks, NDIS Worker Screening Check and various other state-based checks prior to being employed with Just Better Care.
To learn more about how Just Better Care can assist you or your loved ones to live independently, go to justbettercare.com/getting-started or phone 02 9484 8788
Sue Buckle, is a Registered Nurse and the Director of Just Better Care Hills District