Seniors advice: how to get the best help at the best price

Seniors advice: how to get the best help at the best price

Living at home for longer is easier for older people than ever before.

There is a huge range of services available including prepared meals, transport, help in the garden, personal and nursing care.

There’s also a new way to fund home care called Consumer Directed Care (CDC), providing older people with greater choice and control over the design and delivery of their care.

MORE: How to modify your home for changing needs

But when it comes to choosing who will deliver the services, how do you know who will meet your needs and provide the best value for money?

There are five key things to consider.

1. Short-term needs and long-term objectives

When evaluating your options, remember it’s about setting you up for the future, plus meeting immediate needs.

2. Cost

There are a few vital questions to ask to help you understand what you’re being charged for, including:

– Is there an additional cost for weekend or evenings?
– Is there a charge for extras beyond the hourly rate, for example travel?
– What is the cost for specialised services?
– Are there entry or exit fees?
– Will I be charged an administration fee and what does it cover?
– Will I get a monthly statement? Providers should give you a reconciliation of what has been spent and how much of your budget is left.
– Can I top up my own package?

3. Staff

Navigating aged care can be difficult, so ask the service provider if you will get a dedicated care coordinator who will spend time with you to understand your needs.

Also, ask whether you will have the same members of staff coming to see you or your parents. It’s important the staff are consistent so they can develop a relationship.

4. Service range and restrictions

A provider who has a wide range of services, without any restrictions on what you can buy and from who, will offer greater value longer term. There’s greater flexibility and means the support they provide can respond to your changing needs.

5. Purpose

Finally, what’s the passion or purpose of the organisation and does it align with your own beliefs and goals for the future?