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Getting the right aged care

It can be hard to reach out for help, but once you take that first step, life can become so much easier. With the right help, you can remain independent in your own home

Think ahead – don’t wait until a crisis hits
One of the biggest concerns as we get older is losing our independence, and with that comes the fear of becoming a burden to others.filler text filler text filler text filler text

However, if you and your loved ones take some time to think ahead and talk about your plans, you can take control of your situation now and make sure you remain independent as long as possible. Here are some things to consider before you hit crisis mode.

What do you want to happen?

Even if you are managing well now, give some thought to what might happen if you run into trouble. Do you want to stay in your home or would retirement living or residential aged care be an option? Do you expect your family to help you out – and are they able to – or would you prefer someone independent to come to your home so your family relationships don’t have to change? Would you be interested in spending time in respite care while your family is out and about? What are your wishes if your health deteriorates to the point you can’t make decisions for yourself? You can formalise your instructions for medical treatment in an Advance Health Directive (AHD), sometimes called a ‘living will’ with your doctor. It’s also a good time to think about appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney and updating your actual will. The important thing is that everyone has a clear idea of what to do ahead of time.

Where you are now

Consider your current health and living circumstances. What options are available if you could no longer manage stairs or if you were to have difficulty getting up from a chair or after a fall? Would your home be suitable if, for instance, you could no longer hold a driver’s licence. Is there a bus or train nearby or would you need help with transport? Will the bathroom be easy to manage in future years? Home modifications, such as ramps, chairlifts, handrails and shower chairs might be a logical first step.

Do your homework

When a crisis hits, it’s hard to know where to start. You can make the decisions easier by familiarising yourself with the many home care services available – there is a vast array, from help with the cleaning to meal preparation; transport to appointments or social outings; all the way up to medical care in the home, as well as respite care. Just knowing what’s out there will set your mind at rest and make it easier to reach out for support should you or your loved one need it. Talk to your friends about services they might use and how they find their service providers. You might also familiarise yourself with funding options through My Aged Care.

Blue Care has a long history of getting people the right care. As one of Queensland’s largest and trusted aged care providers, we can share the expert advice you need to make the best decisions for you or your loved one. One call takes care of it all: 1300 258 322.

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The basics – small steps to look after yourself
If you’re not quite at the stage where you want to take the plunge into home care services, but you do want to make sure you remain independent as long as possible, there are steps you can take to make your life easier right now.

Small things can make a big difference – it might be as simple as organising a railing to support you in the shower or starting an exercise regime. Other services might include physio in your own home to improve your mobility, or podiatry to sort out those sore feet. You might also benefit from dietary advice to deliver healthy eating, exercises to strengthen your voice, advice on alarm systems and key safes, or matters as basic as avoiding trip hazards around the home.

Allied Health services

Allied Health includes therapeutic, preventative and rehabilitation support services. Here are some of the main ones.

  • Physiotherapy – Can help restore strength, balance and confidence after a fall; improve mobility; assist if you have difficulty breathing; or provide advice on aids and equipment such as walking frames.
  • Exercise Physiology – Can provide exercise and advice if you have a chronic or complex medical condition; and provide rehabilitation after injury or surgery.
  • Occupational Therapy – Can advise on home modifications or special equipment, such as rails and hoists; and can help simplify tasks to manage chronic disease.
  • Podiatry – Can prescribe orthotics to manage pain; advise on suitable footwear; and treat musculo-skeletal conditions that limit mobility.
  • Dietetics – Can advise on improving food choices, managing conditions such as diabetes and gastrointestinal problems; and assist with food intolerances and dietary planning.

How do I access these services?

You can be referred by your health professional for private services, or access Allied Health services as part of home care service arrangements through My Aged Care, such as the Commonwealth Home Support Program, or the more tailored Home Care Packages.

Blue Care has a long history of getting people the right care. As one of Queensland’s largest and trusted aged care providers, we can share the expert advice you need to make the best decisions for you or your loved one. One call takes care of it all: 1300 258 322.

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Reach out – what to expect from Home Care Packages
Injury, illness or simply the effects of ageing doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your independence. Don't be reluctant to reach out – there are people committed to helping you stay in the comfort of your own home by providing many different levels of support via funding such as Home Care Packages. Home care services can also support the people who care for you.

This could include respite care or simply supplement the care you may already receive from close family.

What help can you expect?

Support comes in many forms, from basic assistance, such as help with showering and dressing, nursing care, physiotherapy, provision of walking frames and home modifications such as handrails and ramps, to more detailed care packages tailored to your greater needs. Alternatively, you may only require short-term help to make the transition back home from a stay in hospital. Whatever your need there is assistance to suit.

You are in control

The important change to today's home care services is that when you are allocated a Home Care Package, you have more say over what services are delivered, by whom, where and when. You get to choose your service provider and work with them on delivery of your care plan in a way that best meets your needs. It is all part of what is called Consumer Directed Care.

Money well-spent

As well as choice and control over delivery, you will also know how your individual care budget – a combination of government funding and your own contribution – is being spent by your provider. Charges might include an establishment or exit fee, and administration and case management charges. Services tend to be charged at an hourly rate, and cost a bit more after hours or on weekends and public holidays. You can also decide if you want to purchase extra services on top of those agreed under your home care arrangement.

Quality assurance

Through ongoing monitoring and formal reviews, your provider should ensure that your package continues to meet your needs. Consumer Directed Care also means your package is portable if you need to change provider.

Remember, too, that you can have someone with you at any stage to lend support if you are unsure about speaking with My Aged Care or care providers.

Blue Care has a long history of getting people the right care. As one of Queensland’s largest and trusted aged care providers, we can share the expert advice you need to make the best decisions for you or your loved one. One call takes care of it all: 1300 258 322.

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Our home care services are tailored just for you

Around the house
Housework help so your home looks spick and span
Out & about
Transport to appointments or fun outings
Mind & body
Wellbeing services so you can look and feel your best
Health care
Nursing and allied health support for a range of conditions
Community & spirit
Indigenous, multicultural and spiritual assistance
Carers & support
Respite and social work so you don’t have to do it alone

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