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Managed home care vs self-managed home care

When you are considering home care options, you have the option of either managing your home care yourself or having your home care provider do it for you.

Last updated: March 8th 2023
You need to decide whether you want to be organising your own care or if you are happy to led your new provider deal with it. [Source: iStock]

You need to decide whether you want to be organising your own care or if you are happy to led your new provider deal with it. [Source: iStock]

Key points:

  • If your provider manages your home care for you, you won’t have to worry about organising the different facets of your care and services
  • You can save money if you self-manage your home care, however, it can be more labour intensive to do it yourself
  • You will need to let your provider know that you want to self-manage your home care services, as, generally, it will automatically be sorted by your service

Self-managing your home care isn’t for everyone, just like having someone else organise all your services isn’t for others. It can be a very personal thing and it is important to decide whether it is the best option for you going forward.

Before getting your home care services locked in, it is important to consider the benefits and downfalls of having your home care self-managed or provider managed.

Letting your provider manage everything

When you get access to home care services through a Government funded program like the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or a Home Care Package (HCP), the provider delivering services will generally appoint you a case manager.

Your case manager will look after all the administrative tasks that come with managing home care services including paying bills and managing your supports.

This generally comes at a cost so your provider will charge you case management fees and other administration costs that will be taken out of your allocated Government budget.

Even though your provider is managing the organisation of your CHSP services or HCP, you still have some control over its delivery. You can discuss with your provider about staff, what does and doesn’t work for you, and the timeline of service delivery.

Every person that receives access to CHSP or has a HCP will be given a case manager to organise the delivery of their care. However, if you don’t want this to occur, you will need to notify your home care provider of your intention to self-manage.

Most providers will be happy to accommodate this, but some may have specific requirements in place regarding how you interact and coordinate with them about your care and services.

Deciding to self-manage

You may decide to look after the management and coordination of supports yourself because you like having control and independence over your life – including the home care you receive.

By self-managing your home care you get to pick and manage the support workers delivering your care but also decide when you want to receive these services and negotiate how much you will pay for them.

Choosing to self-manage can be a money saver as well, because you are not paying towards the cost of administration and management fees. This means you can put more of your home care budget towards the care and services you need.

Self-managing your care also gives you more control over the support you receive, but it doesn’t mean you’re all on your own.

You get to choose an approved provider to assist you in making sure you are receiving the correct care and services for your needs.

The provider is obligated to provide you with all the information you need to be able to self-manage your supports and will be able to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

You can even choose how much you want to manage yourself and what parts you would prefer your provider to organise.

It’s important to consider whether self-management is for you and your circumstances. Think about whether you have the time and energy to take on the role of planning your own care, coordinate different support workers and pay bills or whether you prefer someone to do all of it for you.

Deciding between provider managed and self-managed

There are a number of things you should consider before deciding on whether to let your provider manage your home care services or to do it yourself.

For example, do you have the time to manage your own home care? Organising home care services can be very intensive, and it requires a lot of administration – including holding on to all of your bills that need to be provided to the Government.

Additionally, what is your current capacity for organising your care? If you are developing a cognitive disorder, like dementia, you may not be able to make these decisions for yourself.

However, if independence is really important to you, you may thrive in taking this responsibility on.

You will also get more bang for your buck, because you are not paying for the cost of management and administration fees.

Look at your current lifestyle and care requirements, and make an informed decision on the best option for you.

You can then work in partnership with your provider to receive the care and services that will help you reach a better quality of life.

It is important to remember that whatever option you decide on, you can always opt to change it with your provider if it doesn’t work for you.

Do you want to manage your home care services or would you prefer for your provider to deal with that aspect of your care? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

Self-managing your Home Care Package
What is a Home Care Package (HCP)?
The difference a Home Care Package can make


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