Our 5-step guide to making your home care switch

We understand that everyone has different needs and expectations for their home care. Maybe you’re unhappy with the home care services you or your loved one is receiving. Maybe the fees are too expensive for what’s provided. Or maybe you feel like you could be getting more out of your home care package.

Couple sitting outside home laughing

You’re never ‘stuck’ with one provider

Thanks to changes to home care introduced by the Federal Government in early 2017, you are now completely in control of who provides your home care services. So if you want to change your provider, you can do so at any time – just like switching your telephone company or energy provider. But while you now have much greater choice about the living services you want for yourself or your loved ones, the task of actually switching may seem daunting or overwhelming. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve put together an easy-to-follow five-step guide to helping you switch home care providers:

1. Compare and shortlist approved providers

The most important element of a home care provider is finding one that will fully meet your needs. So get your switch plan started by comparing all the potential providers and then whittling it down to a shortlist of three. Write down exactly what you want out of your new provider – when you speak to them over the phone or in person, this will make your final decision much easier. If you’re unsure what services are available near you, visit My Aged Care or call them directly on 1800 200 422.

2. Break down fees by hours

Home care fees can often appear confusing, so the easiest way to assess the packages on offer is to break down those fees into the hours of actual services you will receive.

Before getting into the numbers, though, ask yourself what’s most important to you and your family:
• Would you prefer a provider that offers a slightly less expensive hourly rate?
• Is the rate less important to you? Would you prefer to get significantly more hours of services for the overall cost?
• Does the provider offer the breadth of services you desire in home care?

The cheapest option might appear most appealing on first look, but it may not be the ideal provider for your needs.
Look closely at what kind of services you would get for those fees, then ask the provider: what is the maximum number of hours I can get per week of the services I want without having to pay any top-up or daily fees?

Once you get those numbers organised, you’ll have a much better idea of the cost-to-services ratio.

3. Agree on a start date with your new provider

Congratulations, you’ve decided on your new home care provider! But there are still a few loose ends to tie up. First is agreeing on a start date. Speak with your new provider and discuss when it would be most appropriate to begin home care, taking into account any current plans you may have for travel or family visits. It’s also essential that you mention the end date with your current (soon-to-be former) provider, as your new provider will only begin offering services after this time.

4. Let your current provider know you are leaving

Contact your current home care provider by telephone, email or mail to explain that you are leaving. You will need to agree on a ‘cessation’ date, or service end date. Also make note of any potential exit fees that may be in your current package.

5. Get your referral code reactivated

Finally, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and let them know that you have cancelled your current provider’s services. You will then receive a referral code, which you need to give to your new provider. They need this code not only to retrieve your information and get you started, but also so they can be paid the Federal Government’s home care subsidy.

Make sure you write down your referral number and keep it somewhere safe. You can’t switch providers without it!

Ready to make the switch? We can help you get started by visiting the Join us page.

FREE Switching Checklist - Download yours now!

Our 5-step guide to making your home care switch

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  • How do I choose the right home care provider?
    Shopping around for a home care provider, comparing the differences can be overwhelming and confusing. But there are some good ways to make sure you get the best deal to suit you and your family and find a good match for your lifestyle and needs. One top tip is to make sure you look at hours provided in your home care package, as well as see if the provider is a good match to your own values and wishes. Read more helpful tips in our guide to comparing home care providers.
  • I’m in a queue for home care and can’t wait
    Most types of Government subsidised home care have long waiting lists. If you are waiting for a home care package but need some support in the interim then our Quick Start program might be right for you. You can also explore Respite Care options, some which can be accessed if you are providing regular support to a loved one or friend. Other Government programs like the Commonwealth Home Support Program may also offer some relief. Contact us for more information about further emergency options.
  • How do I get a home care package?
    We really recommend you start planning for home care when you think you might be needing a little extra help. It is good to be aware that there are wait times for Government subsidised care. We recommend as a very first step, even if you don't know what services you will be need, to arrange your aged care assessment. We can help you book this assessment or you can ask your GP to book one for you. Download our free infographic to learn how to navigate your way through the home care packages process.