Case Study | What To Do When You Receive Inadequate HomeCare Services
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Do not put up with poor homecare service!
A pre-eminent Estate Lawyer approached DR Care Solutions after meeting with one of his clients. At the meeting the daughter expressed her concerns with the home care her 93-year-old mother, Ruth*, was receiving from a large HomeCare Provider. The lawyer paid the mother a visit to assess the situation.
Concerned about what he saw, the Lawyer called in DR Care Solutions to assess Ruth, review the service provision and determine the right care solution for her.
Diagnosed as legally blind, Ruth was living alone in a large two-storey home. While physically well and cognitively sharp, her visual impairment left her feeling vulnerable, often confused, and nervous about living alone.
Ruth's HomeCare Provider was ‘subcontracting’ their provision of services to seven different care providers. Care services were being provided three times a day, seven days a week.
A carousel of different carers visited the client each day. Ruth didn’t know who was coming each day, nor at what time. With no medication register or carer communication book on site, the administration of her eye drops and other medications was not monitored and so her macular disease worsened.
A carer would 'show up' daily to take her shopping, cook a meal and promptly place the meal in the fridge. Ruth was then left to fend for herself and find the meal in a fridge full of previously boxed and rotting meals.
Further, the daughter noticed that her mother’s housekeeping funds had increased dramatically and that there were no receipts to account for the money spent.
In this scenario:
- While government-funded services were in place, Ruth enjoyed no consistency in carers, quality of care, and flexibility in care delivery. At times a carer would arrive at 7am despite Ruth's communicated preference to sleep in.
- Ruth's personality changed as she retreated inside herself and stopped engaging in conversation with people. She felt vulnerable but was too scared to say anything to her daughter for fear of being moved out of her home into an aged care facility.
- Previously, Ruth had enjoyed visiting the local shops for a bite to eat, garden centres for a coffee, and the local beach promenade for walks. Her carers were too rushed to take her on any activities so she spent much of her time at home listening to the radio or television.
- Her quality of life had diminished.
The Care Solution
DR Care Solutions was engaged and within one week, DR Care Solutions:
- Completed a comprehensive care needs assessment of the client asking her about her wants and wishes, including what time suited her to have her carers arrive.
- Developed a Life Plan© with clear recommendations on what could be implemented and very quickly.
- Established that Ruth was happy to pay for additional hours of ‘fee for service’ care, in addition to her government-subsidised HomeCare Package, to get the right care and outcomes.
- Introduced a quality HomeCare Provider, registered as an Approved Aged Care Provider.
- Oversaw the services of the HomeCare Provider as they introduced a team of suitably matched carers based on the description of Ruth's ideal carer, as outlined in her Life Plan©. One carer was appointed team leader to ensure consistency and the smooth running of the household. The leader put in place an on-site communication book and medication register.
Ruth has been able to remain at home. She continues to receive quality homecare from the new provider and enjoys the new care structure introduced by DR Care Solutions.
Rather than having visits three times a day by different carers, the one carer visits each day for several hours (between six to eight hours per day, seven days a week). This has improved the client's health and quality of life. She now enjoys:
- A proper home cooked main meal in the middle of the day,
- Daily outings, depending on how she is feeling,
- The consistent administration of her eye drops and medications, and
- Having a well maintained home and garden.
Having wonderful companionship from mature and interesting carers has been an added bonus for Ruth.
Meanwhile, the previous care provider wanted to charge Ruth a $2,500 exit fee to move care providers. DR Care Solutions stepped in to ensure that there was no exit fee and that Ruth's existing funds were moved in full to the new provider.
DR Care Solutions continues to review Ruth's situation, keeps in touch with the daughter and the new care provider on a monthly basis.
The daughter has advised that her mother is more comfortable having the same, reliable and lovely carers in place to enable her to remain at home with quality care for as long as possible. She doubts whether her mother would still be alive if she didn’t have such good quality care in place. With DR Care Solutions remaining in contact on a regular basis, the daughter has peace of mind that the quality of care remains.
* Names have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of subjects.
For more information, please reach out to Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place.