Jul 02, 2024

Self-managed vs fully managed home care: What’s the difference?

Trilogy Care HelloCare
Self-managing your Home Care Package gives you more choice and control over the support you receive. [Shutterstock]

Getting a Home Care Package is a big step towards improving your quality of life, but you might be concerned about losing your independence, and not being able to control your routine, who is in your home, or what services you receive.

One option that’s become more popular in recent years is self-managed Home Care Packages. A growing number of seniors are choosing this approach as a way to have more control over their services while making their budget go further. 

Here’s a quick guide to how a self-managed Home Care Package works, the benefits, and what to consider before deciding to manage your own package.   

What’s a self-managed Home Care Package?

Once you’ve been approved for a government-funded Home Care Package, the next step is to choose a provider who will coordinate and deliver services such as personal care, nursing services, social support, or housework assistance.

Traditionally, your Home Care Package provider is in charge of every aspect of your package – from choosing your carers and picking your services, to creating a roster for your care. This takes a lot of the work off your hands, but also limits the amount of control you have over your package.

Another option is to choose a self-managed Home Care Package provider. This is a new approach that gives you the power to self-direct your Home Care Package, find and choose your own carers, and schedule services at a time that suits you.

It’s not a completely hands-off option as your provider will still help you manage your care plan and look after the financial aspects of your package, but you’ll be in control of the day-to-day delivery of your care. You’ll also save some money by paying a much lower management fee, which can free up more funding for your care.

What are the benefits of managing your HCP yourself?

Self-managed Home Care Packages can be a great option for seniors who need support, but want more decision-making power over how their package is spent. Some of the benefits of managing your own package are:

  • More choice and control – with a self-managed Home Care Package, you can find and choose your own care workers rather than being limited to a provider’s workforce, and directly negotiate rates you’re comfortable with paying. 
  • Be in charge of your day – instead of being dependent on a provider’s care roster, you’ll be able to schedule your services at a time that works for you and fits in with your lifestyle.
  • Lower fees – self-managing means you can significantly lower your package management fees, freeing up more of your budget for services or to increase your hours of care. To compare, a traditional provider’s management fee can be up to 35% of your budget, while a self-managed provider is typically half that amount.

Do you need a provider if you’re managing your own Home Care Package?

Every Home Care Package must have a government-approved provider who oversees the package, even if you choose to manage it yourself. 

Your provider supports you with tasks like designing and maintaining your care plan, looking after your budget, paying your care workers, conducting reviews, and making sure your support team is qualified to provide a high standard of care. 

What should I consider when deciding to manage my own Home Care Package?

Think about whether you want to be in charge of organising your services, or if you’d prefer your provider to do this work for you. If you would like to manage it yourself, consider if you can also do it with support from a family member or a close friend.

A self-managed Home Care Package is best suited to seniors who value their independence, and have the ability to look after aspects of their care. While a self-managed provider will provide plenty of support to manage your package, it does involve a bit of extra work. 

This is why it can suit someone who has a family member or trusted friend to help them; you have an extra pair of eyes to look over information and decisions to make sure nothing is missed.

If you do decide to manage your own package, it’s important to find an approved provider with experience in self-managed Home Care Packages, who can help you manage your budget while giving you choice and control over your care.

 Some questions you might want to ask are:

  • Does the provider have an online portal so you can easily manage your care plan and budget?
  • What’s the provider’s fee structure? Make sure there are no hidden costs, and you have a transparent view of how much your Home Care Package will cost.
  • Does the provider charge additional staff travel costs? Some providers charge an additional cost for care workers to travel to you.
  • Check if the provider has any previous records of non-compliance using My Aged Care’s non-compliance checker.

What are my next steps if I’d like to explore managing my Home Care Package?

Now might be a good time to find out which self-managed Home Care Package provider is a good fit for you. 

Trilogy Care’s compassionate team of industry experts offers self-managed Home Care Packages that enable you to confidently be in charge of your care. If you’d like an information pack about understanding your care options, you can call Trilogy Care on 1300 459 190 or visit trilogycare.com.au.

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