FINDING THE BEST CARE PROVIDERS FOR YOUR PARENTS

Where to begin and what questions to ask when looking for assistance with aged care.
image via stefamerpik on Freepik

INTRO

Today on the blog I have a great collaboration that helps with navigating the process of finding care for our elderly parents when the time comes. I think we all hope that we won't need to access much help, but it's better to have some knowledge tucked away, than to be caught completely unaware if the need arises suddenly. And I'm also keeping in mind that I might need to know some of this for my own needs down the track.

I found it to be a really interesting overview and guide, and I hope you do too....

FINDING THE BEST CARE PROVIDERS FOR YOUR PARENTS

As a child, your parents devoted a significant part of their lives to making sure you were well looked after and cared for. So, it is only natural you will want to return the favour if they ever need to choose an NDIS provider. 

While you are likely aware of the services they will require and when you’ll need the support to begin, you may find the process of finding the right company a little bit overwhelming. With so many options available, it can be hard to determine which one best suit their needs, goals and personality. But fear not, because we have got you covered!

In this guide, we’ll highlight the most appropriate steps you should take to source the best care providers for your parents. If you follow these tips, you’ll go a long way towards finding a fantastic match who will support them in the most effective way possible.

SEARCH ONLINE RESOURCES

When looking for an NDIS provider, one of the first things you should do is peruse the NDIS websiteListed on it is a comprehensive overview of all registered NDIS service providers, which you can filter by metrics such as postcode, territory or state.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

Once you've found a list of providers you are interested in, you will need to do your due diligence and research them further. Here are six questions you should ask yourself.

1. WHAT ARE THEIR QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE?

Every registered NDIS provider is required to hold specific qualifications and meet certain criteria that relate to the services they offer.

When assessing which one to pick for your parents, you should make a point of ensuring they have not only the necessary qualifications but also the experience to provide them with the level and type of support they need.

Try to find a provider that takes an approach to care that is ‘evidence informed’. Essentially, an organisation that uses the most up-to-date information to formulate decisions about strategies and interventions.

aged care qualifications and information

2. ARE THEY PERSON-CENTRED?

Perhaps the most important consideration when picking an NDIS provider for your parents is the degree to which they take a person-centred approach.

This type of strategy puts your parents, their goals, requirements and living situation at the core of all the care solutions the provider suggests. Moreover, it should recognise and build on your parents’ unique strengths.

When initially liaising with different providers, try to identify the ones who listen the most and make an effort to understand what your parents require, both in the short term and long term. Many providers are using 
NDIS software to provide great experiences around NDIS support.

3. HOW WELCOMING AND INCLUSIVE ARE THEY?

NDIS providers should always make sure their operation is inclusive and welcoming.

Whether it be the staff or services, you should make sure the provider values inclusivity because if they do, they will most likely centre their support around your parent’s personality, unique needs and cultural background.

It is vital that your parents always feel accepted and respected. Therefore, it is a good idea to seek testimonials, if possible, from clients who have cultural backgrounds similar to your parents.

4. HOW COLLABORATIVE ARE THEY?

Your parents deserve a support system that works together to offer the best level of care for their needs. For this reason, it is important that the registered NDIS provider you choose shares knowledge, information and skills, not just with them, but also their family members and carers.

Ultimately, the more collaboration they offer, the better level of care your parents will receive.

aged care collaboration with client

5. WHAT IS THEIR AVAILABILITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND ACCESSIBILITY?

Any NDIS service provider you choose should be able to provide the aged care support your parents need as and when they require it.

When assessing them, try to establish how available their services are. You should also ask questions about their flexibility when sudden changes arise, for instance, if you need to change or cancel a shift.

It is also worth ascertaining the level of accessibility they offer in terms of transport options or parking facilities.

6. WHAT ARE THEIR COSTS?

The cost and payment terms the NDIS provider offers are another salient consideration. Therefore, you should find out from them exactly what they will involve if you engage their services.

You can make a judgement about the bottom-line figure, but what you really need to know is how transparent the pricing structure is. The last thing you want is to be seduced by what appears to be a low cost, only to find there are plenty of hidden fees to be added to it.

I HOPE THAT HELPED

It's never easy making decisions when the pressure's on. Knowing there are many resources available to assist can help with making the right choices for those we love - or for ourselves when the time comes to put our hand up for a little assistance.

Where to begin and what questions to ask when looking for assistance with aged care.

BEFORE YOU GO:

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

12 comments

  1. Great information - thanks Leanne.

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    1. Hi Jo - I hope I never need it, but it's good to have some extra insights.

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  2. It's something we all need to be aware of. I know that we did what we could via My Aged Care for Dad in his last 6 months when he "admitted" he could do with some help around his place. It definitely IS a tricky conversation at times. Denyse

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    1. Hi Denyse - I think any conversation with an independent older parent is fraught if they're not ready to hear it, which is why it's good to have all the resources at our fingertips for when the time comes. My Aged Care is another great resource.

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  3. You need my aged care to get all the codes needed to access the help needed.

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    1. Hi - yes, thanks for that - My Aged Care is definitely a great resource for elder care.

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  4. Hi Leanne, this is good information for anyone facing on currently involved with caring for an elderly parent. Based on our personal experience, the participant must be receptive to assistance and getting them to that point is the hardest part. Introductions can make or break an experience and you are completely right about making sure caregivers are 'person centered.' My MIL had some wonderful aides, and some who shouldn't be in the profession. Our only regret is that we didn't begin the process sooner. There is a steep learning curve with lots of information coming all at once. Being prepared and ahead of the game is advisable.

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    1. Hi Suzanne - I thought of you as I formatted this post, and others too who have recently had the trauma of trying to find the best solution for an aging parent. There's so much to navigate, and finding just the right balance of care and support that a parent is willing to accept is such a hard juggle to achieve. And yes, starting sooner, rather than leaving it until they are desperate is definitely the best advice.

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  5. Leanne,
    Just wanted to stop by to thank you for your visit and kind words..Keeping busy helps me to get through the days as I try to find a new normal for me...I hope you are having a great week!!
    Hugs,
    Deb
    Debbie-Dabble Blog

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    1. Hi Debbie - so glad you're doing well - and gradually adapting. You inspire me with your positivity and can-do attitude x

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  6. Great information, Leanne. My parents and in-laws are deceased, but the questions listed are useful in selecting a new provider for myself. Another thought occurred to me when I read this phrase: "As a child, your parents devoted a significant part of their lives to making sure you were well looked after and cared for. So, it is only natural you will want to return the favour." My father was missing from my life for most of my growing-up years. We reconnected when I was an adult. When the time came that he needed assistance with medical issues, I struggled with some resentment. I worked through it, but now I think that might be an interesting topic for a blog post.

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    1. Hi Christie - yes, I fully understand what you're saying about your dad. My dad was present physically, and absent emotionally throughout my life - it made it very difficult to mourn his passing and to reconcile what others say about how much they miss their parents who've passed away. (I wrote a post on that when it happened and I'd be interested to read one if you write about your thoughts). The whole end of life, aged care support is such a huge hurdle for all of us with aging parents, and any help is welcome (hence this post).

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.