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Case Managers

It is possible to remain living in your own home with a little bit of help. However, with so many services available, it can be challenging to know where to start and which one to use.

A case manager can help develop and implement individualised care plans (Source: Shuttertsock)
A case manager can help develop and implement individualised care plans (Source: Shuttertsock)

This is where case managers fit in. Case managers will work with you and your family or carer to develop and implement individualised care plans best suited to your needs.

If you are eligible for a Government funded care package, case managers are assigned through your service provider as part of your homecare package or home care services.

However, if you have complex and multiple needs and you’re looking at different care options, or you would prefer not to use a government funded package, you may choose to use the services of a private case manager.

Private case managers provide support and coordinate your care to ensure your needs are met. They liaise with service providers, medical and other allied health professionals, and they can also negotiate with legal and advocate groups to ensure your rights are protected. You employ them according to your needs; you might want one for a short-term period or as an ongoing support.

When do I use a private case manager?

You may choose to use a private case manager if you have little or no support from elsewhere, or you want to take the pressure off family members or other loved ones trying to organise your care. Waiting periods for private case management (if any) are greatly reduced compared to some government-subsidised packages – seen by some as an advantage.

If you are returning home from hospital or recovering from an illness, you may also prefer to use the services of a private case manager.

In some cases, such as if a person is cognitively impaired, the public trustee may assign a private care manager to organise an individual’s care.

How much does it cost?

The service of a private case management is not government-subsidised in any way, so you will be charged for all services provided such as personal care.

Hourly rates vary between private case management organisations so always ask for a breakdown of costs before employing them. Generally, an invoice for all care services purchased on your behalf will be provided to you each month.

Many case managers offer no lock in contracts, meaning care can be arranged for one, several or many ongoing visits, and you only pay for what you use.

How do I get started?

Private case management services can be initiated by yourself as the user, and/or by family members or carers. A GP referral or an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), or Service (ACAS) if you live in Victoria, is not required.

As with selecting any private service provider, do your research and ask lots of questions. These could include:

  • What is the hourly rate and how will you be billed?
  • What additional costs will you have to pay?
  • How will they communicate with you, or your family or carers?
  • What types of services are provided?
  • Who will your case manager be?
  • What is the complaints procedure if you are not satisfied with the service?

You want to be sure you get value for money, have confidence in your case manager and receive relevant quality services delivered in a timely way.

* As of February 2017, you will be able to manage your own budget for Government funded home care services, and you choose how and who delivers your care. In which case, you may decide to manage your own care rather than use a provider’s case manager.

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