Home' Community Care Review : CCR Nov-Dec 2015 Contents Wendy Hill, portfolios
manager, health and
ageing at KinCare
KinCare's Wendy Hill says
the rollout of consumer
directed care has opened
up a new world of possibilities in
organisations were forced to
say no to consumer requests
that didn't fit in with program
rules, agencies are now being
encouraged to be creative,
responsive and firmly place the
client in the driver's seat.
"CDC gives us the opportunity to say
'yes'," she says. "If someone says, 'I can't
afford new dentures and I'm losing weight
because I can't eat properly', we can say,
'let's use your package'. If someone else
is bed bound and really struggling with
feeling isolated, let's arrange to get some
technology in there so they can connect
"That opportunity to innovate,
problem-solve and build up some unique
service offerings around an individual is
the most exciting part for me," says Hill,
who is KinCare's portfolios manager for
health and ageing.
To broaden the range of services on offer
to CDC clients, KinCare has also extended
the availability of service types available
as part of its other community programs
to the home care packages program.
For example, clients can access services
from its settling home program, which
offers transition support to older people
following a hospital discharge.
CDC AND SOCIAL
Of particular interest to Hill is the
place and priority of social support in
Hill says managing finite resources
as part of a person's home care package
represents a juggling act for many consumers
as they must manage their multiple physical,
social and psychological needs.
Tearing down barriers
The home care reforms underway are a licence to innovate,
WENDY HILL tells LINDA BELARDI.
"There is a little bit of concern
as we move to individually
capped budgets that people
are going to rationalise their
resources in a different way."
Hill says the onus is on
providers to respond to this
dilemma through innovation
and creativity to ensure ongoing
opportunities for social support
"We also need to move away
from thinking that the service provider has
to entertain the client or meet that gap for
[social connection]. We're there to connect
people and build that bridge, whether
it's through technology, transport or by
coordinating social activities."
She says service providers shouldn't
be a client's source of social engagement,
but rather facilitate sustainable social
connections within their community.
KinCare's new social support model
across home care and home support,
incorporates a combination of traditional
face-to-face social support, group outings
and technology. The organisation has
recently piloted inTouch Living's social
care technology platform that gives clients
the opportunity to join online social
groups, and share interests with like-
HOW MUCH CONTROL
DO CONSUMERS WANT?
Reflecting on the take up of CDC by clients,
Hill says it has been a steep learning curve
for many consumers and Australia is still
at the early stages in its implementation
of the policy.
"At the moment we are finding people
just want to understand what choices
they do have. They don't necessarily
want to exercise those choices. It's really
about knowledge and understanding
at this stage.
"I think consumers have been quite
shocked about the true cost of care and
how much planning and effort might go into
even just scheduling a visit for somebody."
She says a number of consumers are
building their care plan and rostering
their staff but it's too early in the journey
for older people to want to take on more
elements of choice and control.
"That will certainly come over time as
people become more confident. We need
to remember too that there are so many
choices available to people that it can be
quite overwhelming to start with."
Looking ahead to February 2017 and
the introduction of portability of funding
in home care packages, Hill says the end
result will be a much more responsive and
engaged home care sector.
"It challenges us as providers to get out
there and do a good job and live and die by
your reputation. While February 2017 might
be the end point, the journey starts now; we
need to be building up some loyalty with
our clients and really demonstrating that
we're trying to understand what their needs
are and even anticipating their needs into
the future." n
40 | NOVEMBER 2015
Community care from all angles
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