Preparing for Home Aged Care: Importance and Tips
Like many services, home aged care is an essential step to improving an older adult’s quality of life, especially when mobility starts to become an issue. But it is not something to take lightly. Introducing home care is a process that requires patience and long conversations, so it’s best not to rush it. Remember that your senior’s comfort is key.
The importance of preparing for home aged care
Preparing for home aged care is needed to ensure a smooth transition. The last thing you want to do is disregard your senior’s feelings and opinions by suddenly introducing a carer to your home without letting them know. You’ll also need to prepare your home to make things more accessible and easier to navigate for the carer.
Tips for prepping your senior for home care
- Have a calm conversation first. Talk to your senior about the possibility of having someone around to help. Feelings of apprehension might arise, and that’s normal. When that happens, stay calm and explain things gently. It’s natural for them to have mixed feelings about this, so your goal is to get them to see that this will be a positive change.
- Prepare your home. Make sure to introduce your carer to how things at home work. If you have a smart home system, it’s best to let them know beforehand. Prep rooms and label storage boxes appropriately so searching for things like linens or clothes won’t be too big a chore. Adding things like guide rails to your bathroom can also help.
- Be patient. Your senior will have some questions, and they might end up asking about the same thing more than once, so exercise some patience in this regard. Explain concepts simply and in more general terms to avoid confusion.
- Bring in a health care professional. A professional can help ease discomfort and can help the elderly see that this is a good change. Bringing them in can also aid in explaining concepts better, and help your senior see the positive side of having a carer around.
- List down priorities. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with tasks in this huge shift, so make a list of your priorities so you don’t get swamped. Lists can make tasks feel more doable, and it can be rewarding crossing things off.
Types of services home care entails
Home care packages (HCP) are one of the ways older adults in Australia can access affordable care in the comfort of their own home. These services are flexible and varied, so specific and complex needs can be targeted by your provider and will fit your personal budget. Keep in mind that while these services are there to help, they are not suited to replace care and services that can be accessed through other health programs that you might be eligible for.
- Hygiene and grooming – This means help with bathing and grooming needs. Helping with incontinence can also fall into this category.
- Food preparation and nutrition – Nutritious meals and assistance in eating or staying hydrated when needed will be provided.
- Mobility – If the senior has difficulty moving around, help will be provided by the carer. This also includes usage of walkers, walking sticks, physiotherapy, and other mobility aids, as well as driving them to places.
- Chores and home maintenance – Chores like laundry, garden upkeep, and cleaning. The carer can also oversee the safety of areas in the home, like bathrooms and stairs.
- Social outings and visitors – Carers can also vet the people who wish to see the senior to minimize risk and stress. They can also help the senior engage in social activities to keep their brain active and connections rich.
The government pays your provider a subsidy to arrange a package of care services to meet your needs. As everyone’s care needs are different, there are four levels of Home Care Packages with different funding amounts. These cover basic support needs through to high care needs. The package level assigned to you is based on your specified needs.
|Package level||Level of care needs|
|Level 1||Basic care needs – $9,179.75 a year|
|Level 2||Low care needs – $16,147.60 a year|
|Level 3||Intermediate care needs – $35,138.55 a year|
|Level 4||High care needs – $53,268.10 a year|
Home aged care is a daunting step, but with the right preparation it could be an easy one. What matters at the end of the day is your senior’s comfort, so ease them into the concept as well as possible.