Shortlisting Home Care Providers

I have appreciated learning about aged care through forum emails and this is my first question. My sister has been assessed for level 2 home care services and needs to select a provider within 3 months. In helping her to shortlist home care providers, are there a few key questions that can be asked over the phone that will quickly either firm up a shortlist or eliminate some providers? In looking at the “My Aged Care” website, there are many providers in her area, they all provide similar services and the generic checklist is too long for a quick phone call. One question that could be asked over the phone that I can think of is: “What services have a waiting list and what is the average wait time?” What other questions could be asked over the phone to help make a shortlist? Thank you for your help.

Hi Margaret,
Not all Home Care service providers are the same and you are wise to have a list of questions to ask that can help narrow the field to a provider that your sister feels comfortable with and who she believes is able to satisfy her care needs. Here are a few questions I would suggest you ask. Whilst you may know what services the Home package provides you may want to check what don’t they provide and how many hours your package provides. Another question you could ask is about the level of experience of the carers providing the services and other staff who are acting in an advisory role. Also you could ask the same of the Provider organisation. Are they new to the industry and if not how many years experience in the industry do they have. What packages do they provide and what are the costs associated with each of the packages. eg a self managed package may be cheaper for you as there are less administrative costs. In keeping with that ask about case management and what is involved. What is a H agreement and what is included in it? What is the providers plan for back up resources if your care giver is unable to attend. Can you change your provider if you are not satisfied with your current service and what is the procedure to do that ie giving notice etc.