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3 signs it’s time to start the Home Care Package process

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can lead to problems with health and safety at home. Like no longer being able to clean your home the way you’d like to, or having trouble with stairs. 

Feros Care Wellbeing Manager, Monique Gorham, knows this better than anyone. She has been a Registered Nurse for a long time and says that it’s key to get help early on when ageing begins to impact the home environment. 

 “Getting help early produces better outcomes and is the best way for seniors to remain healthy and safe in their own homes,” Monique says. 

“Ageing can either be managed well, or managed poorly and there’s so much we can do to help through that process.” 

Monique works with clients on government-funded Home Care Packages, which are designed to manage the progression of ageing through targeted services and assistance to ensure seniors are supported to live independently. 

Home Care Packages deliver services to older Australians and can range from housework and transport, to allied health and nursing. 

Here’s how to know that it might be time to look into the Home Care Package process. 

1. It’s no longer easy to do the things you’re used to doing 

Like anything to do with an individual’s health, ageing requires close monitoring and careful maintenance so potential problems can be addressed before they become serious. 

 “Something seemingly innocuous like no longer being able to clean your house can lead to problems down the track with health and safety,” says Monique, who has a long history in community nursing and working with minority groups. 

“Getting help early produces better outcomes and is the best way for seniors to remain healthy and safe in their own homes.” 

Monique says people need to ask for help when they first need it and recommends starting the Home Care Package process as soon as something becomes a struggle. 

When it comes to organising a Home Care Package, the first step is to contact My Aged Care to organise a free assessment that will determine what level care you require. Providers like Feros Care can also help you navigate this process. 

However, Monique says when people are being assessed, they have a tendency to play down their difficulties – so she often doesn’t start working with people until they are on the verge of going into an aged care facility. 

She says it’s important to put pride aside so you can get the help you deserve. 

“A lot of people try to ‘solider on’ but we strongly advise against this as it may delay your approval and therefore your access to help,” says Monique. 

“If you are honest about how difficult things can be you have the best chance of the government recognising you need assistance and being put on the waitlist for a Home Care Package. 

“Often by the time people have their Home Care Package approved, or even apply for it, they are in serious need and often need substantial assistance. 

“If we’d been able to help them earlier, their progression of ageing would be more controlled and they would most likely be able to remain independent for longer.” 

Monique Gorham

Once approved for a Home Care Package, seniors can choose a provider, such as Feros Care, to deliver the services they need, giving them choice in how they’d like to spend their allocated funding. 

As a Feros Care Wellbeing Manager, Monique assures individuals that she creates a schedule of services to meet each person’s individual needs. 

“It’s a special privilege to be in a position to make people’s lives easier,” says Monique. 

“I do an assessment the moment I walk in the door or answer the phone so I can move quickly when people need an intervention like some short, sharp services or programs to improve their situation. 

For example, if someone has had an injury, allied health can be ramped up to increase their function or prevent their current function from declining further; or aids and equipment can be provided to stay safer and offer home exercise programs to increase strength and balance. 

“There is no judgement in my role. At the end of the day, I am here to keep seniors as independent and enabled as possible so they can live in their own home and environment. 

“People don’t want to relocate because of health or medical reasons. Their home is where they want to stay and I am here to do everything in my power to make that possible.” 

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