What is your role in assisting clients to navigate the Home Care Package system?
My role is a care and support coordinator. This means I go and meet with clients and get to know them and talk to them about their care needs. We work together to see what we can do to give them to live a happier, safer and more fulfilling life. We help them to see what is available to make choices about what they can access from the service and their funding.
How do you assist clients in getting the best out of their care dollars?
We talk to clients about their needs, and help them understand the guidelines and what can be provided. We look at ways to cost save for clients where they may already be purchasing support such as Meals on Wheels and equipment and then we factor that into the package. We understand how hard it is financially for clients and know that every dollar counts and that it is our role to support them through this.
Can you give me an example of an experience where you have assisted clients to really develop care services that best meet their needs?
We worked with a couple to develop a plan than meets both husband and wife needs. We organised a shopping trip that allows this couple to have a social outing, have a coffee and be supported to get shopping and unpack it at home. In, in this way we supported him around his concerns on leaving his wife at home while he shops. This meets not only their everyday needs but also develops social and community interaction while supporting them to do this together and have some quality of life. By doing it together they also only pay for one lots of services.
Why do you think that approaching care in this way is important?
Care is individual and should not be treated in a one size fits all approach. The financial side of managing care is very stressful for clients and we can assist them in just being able to focus on their needs and helping them navigate the rest. Taking away the ‘overwhelmingness’ of the system is very important as people are already vulnerable and really need to be able to trust in their care provider
What do you believe the main challenges are for families and clients accessing care and how do we help?
Navigating the system is the main challenge for people. It is really important that we as professionals really understand the system and also to know what is available to support clients so that we can bring the information to them and refer them to services so they do not have to seek this alone. The bottom line is about doing whatever it takes to enable them to stay at home in a supported way and be respectfully cared for as they age.