- Your new home care or aged care provider requires a referral code/s from the Government to get your services ready
- You will need to work on a home care or nursing home care plan with your provider
- Service decisions are not set in stone, you can review and change what you originally organised
This can be a bit of a process, because there are a lot of different areas to organise, such as the fees, the care plan, the agreements, and sorting out the referral codes.
Below are the areas that you need to cover to ensure your home care or aged care services are appropriately set up to meet your care and support needs.
Getting the right codes
Your new provider will require referral codes from My Aged Care to get your services in order. You can learn more about referral codes in our article, ‘What is My Aged Care?‘
You will have a referral code for every service you have been approved for and your service provider will need these.
Once your provider has these codes, you can organise a start date with the provider for these services.
With the referral codes in the hands of your service provider, you can begin organising the delivery of your services.
For a person receiving home care, this could include the type of service, the time this service is delivered or the days this service is delivered, the number of hours of care you will receive from the provider, and the person who is delivering your care.
In an aged care home, this could be the specific services you will receive in your nursing home – like if you require regular physiotherapy, how often, and when this will happen.
It is important to have an understanding of what services will be delivered and when so that you can work it into your own schedule. The services delivered to you by a provider should fit within your lifestyle and personal schedule.
Your care plan
Your care plan is a really important part of organising your home care or aged care. It will outline what your care needs are and how these needs can be met in the home or in aged care.
While your Aged Care Assessment Team/Service (ACAT/S) support plan will be a good roadmap for your care plan, you will work with your provider on your desired outcomes, goals and strategies, as well as a timeline for meeting those goals.
Your care plan should be reassessed every year to update changes in your health and circumstances or to change any goals or new wishes.
You will need to negotiate fees and costs and come to an agreement about how much you have to pay for services with your home care or aged care provider.
Providers will receive a subsidy and any supplements you are eligible for from the Federal Government.
On top of that, you will need to make a contribution to the cost of your care, which can include the basic daily fee, the income-tested care fee, as well as any additional fees you agree to, like administration or management fees.
If you move into a nursing home, you need to contribute to the cost of care and accommodation, including the basic daily fee, a means-tested care fee, accommodation costs, and any additional service fees or extra services fees you agree to.
These fees and costs can differ from provider to provider, so it is important you shop around and fully understand what you are agreeing to before entering an agreement with your new home care or nursing home provider.
If you cannot afford to pay towards some of these costs and fees, you won’t have to.
Some fees, like additional service or extra service fees, are not available in all aged care homes and you are not required to pay for them. However, some aged care homes may require you to pay an additional service or extra service fee for a bed in their facility.
All the information about the services you will receive from a provider, how often and how much it will cost will be gathered in a legal document. This home care or resident agreement will be finalised before you access any services.
It is an important document, so it is vital that you understand everything within it and make changes or re-negotiate if you don’t agree with something. Once you are happy, you can sign the agreement.
If you are entering an agreement with a home care provider, it will outline your care plan, the services you receive, your Home Care Package budget, and the cost of services you are receiving.
There should also be information about how the providers manage packages, for instance, if they have exit fees, how they spend leftover funds, when they review care plans and budgets, and much more.
Nursing homes can have two or three agreements that you will need to sign, which could be provided separately or combined in one document.
The two agreements you will likely need to enter into are:
- The resident agreement, which will include the services and care you will receive while living in a nursing home and how much you are required to pay for these services, as well as your responsibilities as a resident and policies for living in the home
- The accommodation agreement will include information about the room you will be living in and the cost of the accommodation, as well as reasons for why you may need to move rooms in the future
There is also an extra services agreement, which doesn’t apply to every aged care home. Extra services are not subsidised by the Government, so this agreement will include the cost of services and what hotel-like services you will receive.
You can ask for an aged care advocate to assist you with understanding your agreement.
If you have a medical or physical issue that makes you unable to sign an agreement, your chosen representative can sign on your behalf.
To learn more about understanding your agreement with your home care or aged care provider, read our article, ‘Understanding the different types of aged care agreements‘.
Reviewing your services
Once you have organised your services with a provider, you can be assured that these decisions aren’t set in stone. You can make changes later down the track.
You may find that your community transport to a social event every Thursday suddenly needs to change to every Monday, or that a care worker isn’t working for you and you would prefer a person that has the same cultural background as you.
If you find over the time of your service provision that it just doesn’t “fit” right, then you can work with your provider on what needs to change.
What do you need to organise with your new provider? Tell us in the comments below.
Finding a home care provider on AgedCareGuide.com.au
Understanding the different types of aged care agreements
Choosing between home care or aged care
How to find an aged care home on AgedCareGuide.com.au
Understanding aged care costs