My Take on :Aged care’s new front line: our own homes

Please read the newspaper article (link below) before reading my personal story – which is for friends, carers and other Parkinsons people:

There is a lot of truth in this. We need an Ombudsman or agency to checķ with on quotes. My son could get me a clothes drier cheaply through his store but it had to be obtained through the other sales section of the same big company at a higher cost, even though my care plan is my money.

A vision support group has just sent me a quote (below) for approx $1200 to upgrade my laptop, through my care plan, which includes 8 hours work, and installation of voice to text Dragon programme that I can apparently geton special for less:

HCP quote for ****** 8 hours *******

Technology appointments and
Dragon Speech Software (external purchase)
Quote# *******
Date 19/2/2019
Expires 21/3/2019
Item Rate Quantity Amount Amount inc GST
SI3014 A******* Technology Service – Individual $131.67 8 $1,053.36 $1,053.36
Dragon Speech Software
$220.00 1 $220.00 $220.00
Sub Total $1,273.36
Tax Total $0.00
Total $1,273

For that I can privately get a new computer all ready to go, and download the Dragon programme still having change. My Co-ordinator was contacted with the quote and sent on a copy to me, since ********* did not see fit. I am lucky my Care Plan provider is taking my wishes into account because that is just not doable under my circumstances. 8 hours to update my laptop. Nothing wrong with that quote, albeit vague, from a very reputable source, but I can see there is so much scope for actual corruption within this system from any unscrupulous businesses. On a bad day I had difficculty working out what was involed in that quote.

I am sure the young man qouoted what he sees as a fair price but if applied would take up my balance of funding for things like much-needed physio at home that I am trying to get organised.

There definitely needs to be strict guidelines to keep everything transparent. As my condition deteriorates I will be less able to have a say in how my care plan is applied. I am not sure how much goes in actual provider admin each month.

I pay my own medical care separately from the care plan. Currently on Level 3 I get: 2 hours shopping weekly with carer and transport, 1 hour cleaning assistance per week (I am visually impaired but very independent), podiatry every six weeks, transport to and from Parkinson’s weekly exercise class in Charlestown (very important for mental function and movement).

It seems from my sources that the agencies are all still having teething problems with staffing and the influx of new clients. I am currently happy with the service from all my carers.

I am authorized for Level Four care but on the waiting list with the Govt for this.

I hope there will always be a strong outside body to reference all aspects, and that includes all levels off staff training.

Caring should never be for profit.

I have built a good relationship with my Provider and am free to leave and go elsewhere but not all my friends are with theirs.

It is helping keep me out of hospital, out of a care home, and needing less time at the doctor. Hopefully this is saving the taxpayer money. Their turn will come.

Lately I have had to change hours and dates for care due to medical appointments which puts pressure on the system, but we are getting there.

As you can see, it covers a wide swathe of care, and to date I am still struggling to get my own private physiotherapist brought within my agency, especially since my private medical fund will only subsidise three more home visits and the agecy’s own physiotherapist is too busy to book me in. My own physiotherapist is already registered with another agency so is fully qualified and suitable.

And then there is my neighbour who got a new bed to suit his medical condition as arranged through his agency. $2000.

From my Aged Care independent living unit

Copy to Ken Wyatt MP – Minister for Aged Care etc