FAIR GO: New changes to home care.
FAIR GO: New changes to home care. Bev Lacey

New changes give a fair go for the elderly

GYMPIE region's older citizens who access home care services will soon have more flexibility and control than ever thanks to new policy changes starting yesterday.

The major overhaul of consumer directed care will increase the freedom of choice the region's home care recipients will have in deciding what care they need, and where their finances are allocated.

It follows previous amendments encouraging care providers to be more transparent about the finances of their clientele and where the funding is going.

The end goal is to increase the ability and agency of the elderly to make their own decisions, as well as hopefully lessen the fees of care organisations.

"What you've seen in the past is that major institutions, including our churches, have provided a large percentage of home care services," Envigor Private Home Care executive manager Tracey Silvester says.

"They do a great job too, but the unfortunate reality of such big organisations is that they have a lot of overhead - sometimes 40-50% of the care money goes into admin."

These new changes effectively place the control and allocation of care funds back into the hands of the people using the service. Mrs Silvester said it would likely lead to a further democratisation of the industry - with smaller care providers, and therefore smaller overhead costs, becoming just as viable as major organisations.

"It's allowing them to take direct control, and letting them to change carers if they see fit," she says.

"A benefit of smaller care providers is there's a level of trust or a relationship you may not get with bigger providers. When it comes to something as intimate and personal as home care, I believe it makes a world of difference."

Gympie Times

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