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  • Aged Care

What Are Home Care Packages

Home care packages are intended to help you to live independently in your own home for as long as you can. They are funded by the Australian Government to provide older people with an alternative to moving into a nursing home.

After-Care works with you to make sure that your home care package delivers a coordinated package of care and services by supporting you to choose the care and services that best meet your needs and goals and then manage your care and services in a simple, reliable way.

After-Care “No Hassle” Home Care Packages

Now you have a choice about how you manage your home care package.

With After-Care, you get the highest possible level of care as well as regular direct support with scheduling and co-ordination of services.

We’ve found that most people just want enough high quality, reliable support to meet their needs now and in the future, with a minimum of fuss. Life really is just too short and busy to be wasting it with endless paperwork and multiple phone calls. We deliver Home Care Packages designed to help you have maximum control of your support services whilst getting the most value from your package funds.

Home Care Packages – Compare The Difference?

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The After-Care Difference Explained

After-Care Home Care Packages offers the best of both worlds. Maximum control and choice with a helpful and skilled case management when you need it at a fair price. After-Care only offers full Provider Managed Home Care packages using our own staff. Our Carers and Coordinators are second to none. To arrange services, you just make one phone call. We sort it all out for you from there. It’s a No Hassle service. After -Care provides experienced, qualified Carers, and you can call us anytime if you need help unexpectedly. Please note After-Care does not offer full self-management of home care packages.

Traditional Home Care Package Providers have been around for years. They usually provide full provider managed home care packages, have large case management teams, big offices, fleets of cars and high costs. Many of them are ‘not for profits’ but these days they operate like large for profit corporations where you are just a small, unimportant part of a large and impersonal company.

Self-Managed Home Care Package Providers often only have one office for the whole state or are based interstate. They specialise in providing ‘self-managed home care packages. As a result, they have very small teams of case managers, don’t have their own local workforce, and often do most work over the phone. They are a ‘no frills’ provider and you are expected to do most of the organising and coordination of services yourself, including employing your own staff or using another supplier for staff. Some Traditional Providers offer the choice of either full provider managed and full self-managed.

Reliable, Qualified, Local Carers

After-Care has one of the largest pools of local Carers in our area after providing in home support for over 20 years. We look after our Carers and this keeps our quality high and staff turnover low. We set up regular Carers who get to know you and your preferences.

Traditional Providers mostly deliver their own in home supports but because they cover large areas, Carers often come from all over and don’t have local knowledge. They often change Carers as they struggle to cover shifts. Staff turnover is higher because big businesses don’t maintain a working relationship with their employees.

Self-Managed Providers don’t have any of their own Carers. You will need to find a business or private individuals for your supports, who may or may not be qualified or reliable.

Direct After Hours support

After-Care runs our own afterhours service to when you call, you are speaking to directly to an specialist After-Care AfterHours Coordinator who can provide you with support straight away.

Traditional providers use overseas messaging services and contract their afterhours services to other companies who don’t know your regular workers or services.

Self-Managed Providers There is no support. If a worker calls in sick, you’ll have to make the calls to find a replacement or do it yourself..

Scheduling and Coordinating services

After-Care uses a ‘one call’ approach to all requests for services. This means you only call or email us once with your request. During office hours your call is always answered by a person, we then follow up and call or email you back with the details of what services have been arranged. If we can’t meet your exact requirements, we work with you to find a satisfactory solution to your support needs. You don’t have to chase us or call again to find out what is happening with your request.

Traditional providers often create a situation where you can’t speak directly to the person you need to which can mean multiple phone calls between you and your provider just to sort out something simple.

Self-Managed Providers You’re on your own with trying to contact and chase up services and workers.

Same day call back

After-Care will get back to you with an answer to most requests on the same day. If you ring after 3pm, the latest we will have an answer for you early the following morning.

Traditional providers can take days or weeks to come back with an answer with many having a message on their answering machine advising to ‘allow 48 hours for a reply!’

For self-managing Provider It just depends on how responsible and responsive your personal carers are as individuals. Some may be great and others may need lots of chasing.

Fixed Cost Case management / support coordination

After-Care includes 12 hours of case management per year. For most clients, this covers the cost of all your calls, enquiries and requests for help at a fixed cost that is built into your budget. We have an integrated coordinator/case management team approach so when you raise a concern with a coordinator, they can discuss get direct support from your case manager for a quick and expert response.

Traditional providers build in high levels of case management that your package is automatically charged for whether or not you need it. They usually charge very high rates for the case management as well – up to $100 per hour, and $25 per call, just like a lawyer! The coordinators are usually just admin workers who have to email your questions to the case manager and then wait for an answer, again for $25 a go.

Self-Managed Providers have no case management which looks great to start with until you realise that there are just some questions that you will need help with. Then the same high costs for case management kick in and you are charged per call so if things get complicated, your case management costs can quickly spiral out of control.

Regular communication with your provider.

 After-Care’s integrated coordinator/case manager approach means that coordinators, carer and case managers work together as your support team because we all work for After-Care and keep in touch daily. This means that if life gets complicated, help is never far away. Your case manager also visits you every 6 months for Level 3 & 4 packages and every 12 months for a Level 1 & 2 package to make sure everything is going well. If you need a visit or a chat in the meantime, just let us know.

Traditional providers used to have case managers visit every month, whether you needed it or not, and lots of clients found this a nuisance to fit in around their busy social lives or medical appointments. Their support workers often have no direct relationship with case managers so things get missed or lost in the system. These days we often hear complaints from clients that they ‘never’ see their case manager.

Self-managed Providers would usually only contact clients once per year unless you call them yourself.

Easy to read Monthly Statements

After-care provides a simple one page statement either emailed or posted, that just shows the basics each month – what the package income was, what the package expenses were, and how much unspent funds are left. If you need to check an individual invoice we are happy to provide a copy.

Traditional Providers often send out pages and pages of figures from their large, impersonal ‘Accounts department’ that needs an accountant to make sense of. You never get to see the original invoices so it’s impossible to understand exactly where the charges came from.

With Self-Managed Providers it varies a lot. Some use apps and some you keep the original invoices. If you are tech savvy and are good at paperwork, this may suit you.

Government compliance

All providers have to meet the government compliance requirements. This means making sure the Home Care Package guidelines are being followed properly. The provider is responsible for how the subsidy funds are spent.

Financial compliance

All providers have to meet the government compliance requirements. This means receiving the home care package subsidy into a separate bank account, reporting leave and all that technical stuff.

Copies of all invoices

After-care For people who want the detail though, we also provide copies of every invoice for all services paid for that month, including a shift by shift breakdown of our support. It’s all upfront and out in the open.

Traditional Providers  You never get to see the original invoices so it’s impossible to understand exactly where the charges came from.

With Self-Managed Providers it varies. You keep the original invoices sent by email but if you want a paper copy, you’ll need a printer and maybe a home office.

Plain English Agreement

After-Care We believe on focussing on building lasting working relationships with clients, not trying to trap them with complex legal documents. Our agreement is 2 pages long and just focusses on meeting the necessary compliance requirements set by the Australian Government.

Traditional Providers It’s like they already know they will disappoint you before you start. Their agreements can be up to 10 pages long and clearly written by lawyers with set notice periods in writing if you want to leave.

Self-Managed Providers They often have complex agreements because they have to spell out clearly who is responsible for what.

No Exit or Set Up Fees

After-Care Why should you be penalised for leaving a provider if you aren’t happy with their services? It’s just not fair so we don’t charge an exit fee.

Traditional Providers They all started out charging them, sometimes for hundreds of dollars. Now some have stopped charging them but make sure you ask because some still do.

Self-Managed Providers Most self-managed aged care providers do the right thing and don’t charge an exit fee.

Low Package Management Costs

These are not set by government so approved providers can charge whatever they decide. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal. At After-Care, we settled on a modest package management charge that covers all of the administration costs of managing and claiming the aged care subsidy, including keeping a separate trust account, regular reporting back to government, providing clients with monthly statements and keeping up to date with the latest standards.

Traditional Providers Because they have huge corporate offices, fleets of cars and large head offices that manage a whole range of other business interests such as nursing homes, welfare, Op shops etc, these providers tend to take between much larger amounts of your package funds for themselves, leaving much less for actual supports.

Self-Managed Providers They can be low as well, but remember, that’s with you doing most of the work yourself.

Minimal Handling Fees

After-Care In most cases there is just no need to charge these sorts of fees, so we usually we don’t do it. When you use other companies for equipment, nursing, meals and other supplies we don’t add on an extra charge. The only time a handling fee applies is if you use another supplier for Common Services that After-Care provides, or if our maintenance team coordinates a repair or modification on your behalf. The most common example is if you use a private cleaner or gardener instead of After-Care.

Traditional Providers Make sure you check the list of Common Services closely as this is where most providers try to take more of your package for themselves by overcharging for cleaning, personal care and in-home respite. These providers also often try to insist that you must use their own expensive suppliers. You could be paying between $10 – $15 per hour more for most common services.

Self-Managed Providers Most of these providers don’t have set up or exit fees, but it’s common practice for them to put a surcharge or handling fee onto all invoices, even if you employ your own Carers directly.

Low Hourly Rates for in home care

Most of your package funds get spent on in home care services to even a small difference to the hourly rate can mean you get hundreds of hours more support each year if you choose After-Care. After-Care Because in home care is our speciality, our rates are $5 – $10 per hour less than most other aged care providers.

Traditional Providers Most of these providers now provide their own in home care services but for some strange reason, they are much more expensive, even though they are ‘Not For Profits’. We don’t get it.

Self-Managed Providers They often claim very low hourly rates but remember, that’s because you’re doing all the staff management yourself and there may be a surcharge or handling fee on top of the hourly rate. If you’ve got the skills and the time, go for it.

Wide Choice of Services

After-Care You choose which company or people you like to provide your supports. You have a choice of support workers and also a choice of equipment suppliers and other professionals. If you’re not sure where to start, we can connect you to reliable, cost effective suppliers in your area using our local knowledge. That way you always get a good deal and good service.

Traditional Providers They usually keep a short list of ‘approved suppliers’ that are chosen because the admin staff find them easiest to deal with, not because they offer the best deal or have high standards. If you want to use someone else, that’s just tough luck.

Self-Managed Providers You can choose whoever you like but how do you know if they are reliable, professional and are charging a fair price? Once again it’s buyer beware.

Help with hiring, firing and staff management

After-Care We do it all for you so you get the benefits without any of the hassles. All our Carers are hand picked, qualified, and fully police checked. If there are any problems with standards of work, we will step in promptly to help sort it out and if necessary, find you replacement workers. Our standards are second to none.

Traditional Providers They do provide assistance but there is often a lot of back and forth to get your concerns about Carers addressed.

Self-Managed Providers You have a direct relationship which is often great when things are going well but stressful when there are problems. Carers can become to personally involved and you become so reliant on them that they slowly change things to suit themselves and there’s nothing you can do about it. You have all the control but also all risks. In the wider industry, we hear about Carers getting themselves written into wills or being donated a ‘free’ car by clients more often than we’d like so take care.

Plenty of funds for actual services

After-Care With our low admin fees, built in basic case management and low hourly rates for in home supports, we believe our approach offers the best possible balance between minimal hassle and maximum supports. It all adds up to a great package.

Traditional Providers With their high admin fees, high levels of mandatory case management and high hourly rates for in home support and case management, you can end up with less than half you package funds available for supports and you can’t afford the amount of supports you need.

Self-Managed Providers They also usually have low fees and minimal case management but their hourly rates for common services and care management can be very high.

Over 20 years’ experience as an in home care provider

After-Care We’ve been a private in home support specialist for over 20 years. That’s all we do. After-Care’s business success is built on offering great service at a fair price, that’s why people keep coming back.

Traditional Providers Many of these not-for-profits boast about being over 50 or 100 years old but actually they’ve only just started providing direct in home support in the last few years. They’ve had years of getting steady funding whether they  do a good job, a bad job, or an indifferent job. They’re still working out how to deliver in home support properly and don’t always know what ‘customer service’ means.

Self-Managed Providers These guys are the new kids on the block. Some of them claim to have lots of experience but that’s just because they bought an older company 1-2 years ago. Most haven’t existed as a company for more than a few years so there isn’t much of a proven track record.

Longer office opening hours

After-Care’s office is open from 8.30am to 5pm daily.

Traditional providers don’t usually open until 9am and some providers close their office by 4.30pm.

Self-Managed Providers operating hours may very depending on which state they are based in. Sometimes, they don’t have an office in Victoria.

In home care specialists

After-Care’s in home care also supports people living with a disability. Or, if you are a carer of someone living with a disability, our services can assist you in your caring role. We are an accredited disability care provider as well as a registered NDIS provider.

How To Change Home Care Provider?

If this still seems a bit too much to take on, just give After-Care a call on 1300 46 46 63. We are happy to come out and help you.

How To Get Started With Your After-Care Home Care Package?

If this still seems a bit too much to take on, just give After-Care a call on 1300 46 46 63. We are happy to come out and help you.

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