Self-Managed Home Care Packages Explained

Read this article to find out everything you need to know about self-managed Home Care Packages to see if it's the right plan management option for you.

Haisey Home Care
April 3, 2024
x min read

Home Care Packages are designed to help elderly Australians live comfortably at home. 

Whether they're struggling with a disability or simply due to old age, living at home alone can be challenging. Home Care Packages restore their independence to a certain level. 

To become even more independent, Home Care Package users can choose to self-manage their package. 

If you want to know more about self-managed Home Care Packages, this article is for you. We will give you a rundown of HCP self-management, helping you decide if it's the best option for you. 

What Is a Self-Managed Home Care Package?

Home Care Packages are government-funded aged care programs for elderly Australians. 

They allow elderly participants to remain living in the comfort of their homes. All the support and care they need will be provided to them there. One of the goals of Home Care Packages is to avoid moving to a nursing home if possible. 

A lot goes into the planning and implementation of a Home Care Package. These programs are personalised, tailored to meet the needs of each eligible individual. 

Your Home Care Package provider is usually in charge of all these details, from allocating your funds and budgeting to organising various care services. 

Some Home Care Package users prefer to handle all this paperwork themselves. They can do this by self-managing their package. 

So, a self-managed HCP means that you have to do the planning and organising by yourself. 

Self-managed packages are also sometimes referred to as consumer-directed care (CDC).

How Do Self-Managed Home Care Packages Work?

Providers charge a fee for all the organisation and paperwork related to Home Care Packages. 

A self-managed package reduces those administration costs. This form of plan management also gives the user more control over their HCP budget. They can decide how their budget is allocated and what it's spent on.

But, it also requires the user (or someone on their behalf) to deal with all the extra work that goes into the process.

Every Home Care Package requires at least one care manager to oversee the use of the funds. 

In a fully-managed plan, that is the service provider. In a self-managed plan, that is the user (or an appointed friend/family member). 

There is also another option called part-managed care. In this situation, the user and the provider work together to design the care plan and figure out how it's implemented.

Self-managing your Home Care Package includes the following responsibilities:

  • Managing your Home Care Package budget
  • Choosing your care services, support workers, and providers
  • Paying service providers
  • Managing independent support workers
  • Scheduling all your appointments
  • Coordinating all the help you need
  • Keeping records 

As you can see, self-managing your package entails a lot of work. That's why it's only recommended to those who have the energy, will, and experience to do this. 

Pros of Self-Management

These are some of the advantages of self-managing your Home Care Package:

  1. More control over your package funds
  2. Negotiating with providers on how much you pay for support services
  3. More choice over independent support workers
  4. Less money lost on fees and more money for services
  5. Flexibility and independence 
  6. Being able to personalise your services to the fullest 

If you self-manage your Home Care Package, you have a say in everything. You get to make the final call regarding your budget, service providers, the types of services you will receive, and so on. 

This type of plan management is both flexible and convenient. You can make sure your plan will meet all your needs, even as they change over time. 

Another important factor to consider is cost-effectiveness. 

When you self-manage, you may eliminate or reduce administrative fees. You also have direct control over how your allocated funds are used. This helps you manage your HCP budget more effectively. 

Cons of Self-Management 

Of course, self-managing your Home Care Package comes with some disadvantages. These are some of them:

  1. A lot of extra work
  2. Greater responsibility 
  3. Requires organisational, financial, and management skills
  4. It can take up a lot of time
  5. Risk of mistakes
  6. Limited Support
  7. Stressful 

Self-management is definitely not for everyone. Not only do you need to have sufficient organisational skills, but you also need to be experienced in finances and management. 

If not, you could risk losing a lot of money and receiving poor support in return. You could also risk overspending or coming across unexpected costs. 

Self-managing requires you to take on many responsibilities. This includes budgeting, hiring, training, and managing care staff. It also involves administrative tasks, such as record-keeping and compliance with regulations.

This can be both time-consuming and stressful. 

So, Should I Self-Manage My Package?

Self-managed packages can be a great way to maintain more control over how and where your Home Care Package budget is spent.

And, of course, it allows for more funds that you can spend on your Home Care Package services.

On the other hand, self-management comes with a lot more work and responsibilities. This can lead to stress at a time when you might not be best equipped to handle it.

Whether it's the right decision will depend on you and the nature of your restrictions. It all comes down to:

  • Personal preferences
  • Your skills and abilities
  • Financial considerations
  • Your support network
  • The complexity of your care needs

If you are a skilled organiser and you're used to budgeting and handling administrative tasks, self-managing could be for you. 

But, if you have complex care needs, all this extra work is likely to add stress. In that case, perhaps it's best to leave the management to a professional.

Ask yourself if this is something you can accomplish by yourself and if it's something you need at this moment. 

Understanding Self-Management in Aged Care

Everyone's abilities, needs and situations are different, which is why some people prefer to manage their own Home Care Packages. Others choose to focus on their health and leave the administration to their providers. 

Haisey Home Care offers low admin rates of only 27%. So, even if you choose a fully managed plan, you will be able to save money. 

If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about your needs, please get in touch with us.