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Can I Self-Manage My Home Care Package?

28 February, 2024

If you receive funding in the form of a Home Care Package through My Aged Care, you may have wondered at some point whether it's possible to self manage your package.

In particular, this may be the case if you haven't been happy with the care management services offered by your service provider.

While it is possible to self-manage your home care package, like many things in life however, the answer to this question is more complicated than you might think and your service provider will always play an important role in your care.

A thoughtful senior woman holding documents, considering a self managed aged care package for home care

Is It A Good Idea To Self-Manage?

At the outset, it's important to note that while there may appear to be some advantages to managing your own home care package, there can be many unforeseen challenges along the way. Therefore, it's important to consider whether this self managed home care move is in fact the best option for you.

What Else Can I Do?

Instead of rushing into a self-managed arrangement, it can often be better in the first instance to discuss your issues with your current provider and explore how you can be more involved in your care planning. Alternatively, you can look for a new provider that suits you better.

It's important to realise that regardless of whether you opt for self-management or select a fully-managed plan, you will retain autonomy and decision-making authority over your support workers, schedule, expenditures, and care arrangements.

Both self-management and fully-managed home care packages are committed to prioritising your preferences and requirements when crafting your individualised care plan.

A cheerful elderly lady with a walking cane accompanied by her caregiver discussing self managed aged care packages.

What Is A Self Managed Aged Care Package?

There is no such thing as a specific "self-managed care package," rather all aged care packages can be managed in a way that suits you best.

All home care packages are meant to be flexible and your aged care service provider will usually be open to a discussion around how you would ideally like to manage your funds.

You can choose to take more or less involvement in your care management irrespective of the type of home care package that you receive.

Do All Providers Offer A Self Managed Option?

Different providers vary in the degree to which they facilitate individuals self-managing of home care packages. This being said, most providers offer the opportunity to actively participate in managing your package to some degree. The level of involvement will ultimately be outlined in your care plan following discussions with your provider.

If you do decide on self managing your home care, you will have the responsibility of negotiating service fees, directly hiring and managing your own care workers and tailoring your own care plan to fit your needs.

What Are The Advantages Of Managing Your Home Care Package Yourself?

Self-management may give you complete control and you may be able to negotiate lower fees with your aged care provider.

Even if you self-manage however, your provider is responsible for making sure you are receiving the care and services you need. This includes checking the quality of care workers, regularly assessing your needs and reviewing your care plan.

Can I Still Get The Same Support Workers If I Self-Manage?

If you decide on self-managed home care, it may not always possible to get the same support workers you had been using when your care was being managed by your aged care provider.

Whether this is possible, will depend upon the particular support workers themselves and the policies and systems that the provider has in place.

An man with Down Syndrome and a family member discussing the details of a self managed aged care package at home.

What Are The Challenges of Self Management?

Challenge 1 - Administrative Responsibility

Firstly, self-management requires a significant level of administrative responsibility, including budget management, arranging payments, and compliance with legal and regulatory obligations, which can be daunting for some individuals, particularly those who are not familiar with financial management or aged care regulations.

Challenge 2 - Finding Service Providers On Your Own

Secondly, there may be challenges in finding and coordinating suitable services, as individuals must independently research, vet, and negotiate agreements with providers, which can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Additionally, self-managing may become complex, particularly if individuals require multiple services or have changing care needs over time, requiring proactive planning and communication to ensure continuity of care.

Challenge 3 - Navigating The Aged Care System

Furthermore, individuals who self-manage may face challenges in navigating the aged care system and accessing relevant information and support, as they may have limited guidance and assistance compared to those who opt for provider-managed packages with traditional providers.

What Home Care Package Services Are Available If I Self Manage?

The same range of services are available to you if you decide to self-manage, although it may be more challenging to access those services.

You will still have access to personal care assistance, such as help with bathing, grooming, and dressing, as well as domestic support services like cleaning, meal preparation, and grocery shopping. Additionally, you can utilise your package funding to access allied health services, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology, to support your physical and cognitive well-being.

How Can Focus Care Help?

Focus Care is a quality aged care service provider than offer flexibility when it comes to your care management. Whether you want more control, or you want someone else to take care of everything for you, Focus Care would love to discuss your care needs and lifestyle goals with you.

Contact our friendly team today to chat about how we can help you with your care needs while you live independently at home.

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