Sup­port at home: the choice is yours

Myrtleford Times - - Health & Wellbeing -

Re­cent changes to the way home­based aged care sup­port ser­vices are pro­vided are de­signed to give older peo­ple greater choice and con­trol over the way they are sup­ported to con­tinue liv­ing in­de­pen­dently at home. Suzie Don Leonard, Man­ager Com­mu­nity and Home Sup­ports at Unit­ing Goul­burn North East says that when it comes to choos­ing a ser­vice provider, it’s im­por­tant to do your re­search. ‘Once al­lo­cated a Home Care Pack­age, you now have choice over which ser­vice provider you want to man­age your pack­age, which is a ma­jor shift in the way ser­vices are de­liv­ered and puts you in the driver’s seat,’ says Suzie ‘You can de­cide what is im­por­tant to you, and choose the provider that’s best suited to meet­ing your needs. And if they don’t live up to your ex­pec­ta­tions, then you are free to look for an­other provider that can.’ The ser­vice provider that’s most likely to de­liver the kind of ser­vices you need should know your lo­cal com­mu­nity in­ti­mately, and work col­lab­o­ra­tively with lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions. ‘At Unit­ing Goul­burn North East, our ser­vices are lo­cal, de­liv­ered by lo­cal peo­ple for peo­ple in our lo­cal com­mu­nity,’ says Suzie. ‘And we don’t just de­liver ser­vices with our own staff, we work with other ser­vice providers and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to en­sure we meet the needs of our clients. We don’t see other providers as com­peti­tors, we see them as our part­ners. That’s what com­mu­nity is all about. ‘We want to give our clients ev­ery pos­si­ble op­tion, so they can make the best choices for them. It also means that peo­ple who have a Home Care Pack­age with an­other provider usu­ally have the op­tion of keep­ing their cur­rent care work­ers if they move their pack­age to us.’ For Wan­garatta cou­ple Mar­ian and Tony, hav­ing to rely on help from a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion was a new ex­pe­ri­ence. Di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s dis­ease 18 months ago, Tony be­came el­i­gi­ble for a Home Care Pack­age. Hav­ing been rec­om­mended to try Unit­ing, Mar­ian, who is Tony’s full time carer, got in touch with us and they haven’t looked back since. ‘I worked un­til the age of 70 so we’ve al­ways been busy. We rely on each other for a lot of things. How­ever, the sup­port we re­ceive from Unit­ing has taken the pres­sure off us and our fam­ily and friends,’ said Mar­ian. ‘Ev­ery Tues­day, Tony goes on a bus trip which takes him some­where dif­fer­ent ev­ery fort­night. He just thinks the sun shines out of his bus driver.’ ‘We’ve been very happy with Unit­ing. The sup­port we have re­ceived has been ab­so­lutely won­der­ful, es­pe­cially from our case­worker. She re­ally knows us per­son­ally.’ ‘It’s the work­ers at Unit­ing which make it great.’ Get in touch with us to have a chat about Home Care Pack­ages and re­spite ser­vices for car­ers. We’re here to help guide you through the process, ex­plore mul­ti­ple op­tions with you, and link you in with the ser­vices you need. Call us on 03 5723 8000, or drop into our of­fices in Wan­garatta or Shep­par­ton.

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