We invited members of our community to share their experiences and perspectives of aged care services. Disclaimer: These stories have not been independently verified. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of Aged Care Reform Now and are shared for information purposes only.
Finding the right In-Home Care package service provider is like searching for that elusive needle in the haystack. One that is going to treat you as a person, be located in your local area, and not require you to wrangle with a switchboard before speaking with them on the phone. Simple and straightforward. The minimum of fuss. I have come to this conclusion after phoning half a dozen service providers over the last few days trying to find a ‘good fit’.
After a bad experience with one I had been with for 18 months, I do not want a repeat. So I have my antennae out trying to pick up on warning signals or red flags at the very start. I am fortunate in that I have been a journalist and am able to draw up a list of pertinent questions to ask. And on focusing on what is being said or not said.
So far it has been a disaster and I am down to my final one. I have been made to jump through hoops with switchboards having to talk to several people before getting through to the one I want. Even told to leave my number because there was no one available to speak with me. Then I have discovered that I am talking to someone based in Liverpool and the Central Coast when I want someone close to home in northern Sydney. Talked to organisations predominantly run by or staffed by nurses who in my experience want to do things for you instead of encouraging you to remain independent.
Last night my head was spinning and I did not know what to do next. Then I decided to put my requirements in writing and to email them to the last service provider still standing on my list.
Now we are both on the same page and have something tangible to discuss. Wish me luck.
Do you need support? OPAN provides free services to support older people and their representatives address issues related to Commonwealth-funded aged care services and informs people of their rights and responsibilities: 1800 700 600 or opan.com.au