This episode Carrie and Kell look at ways to approach the discussion with consumers and their families around allocation of funds in a Home Care Package.

If you prefer to read about this topic see our post on ‘How to have ‘The Conversation’ – Home Care Package Budgets’

Many organisations in rural and remote areas and those working with people from a CALD background have expressed difficulty in holding meaningful conversations with consumers around Home Care Package Budgets.

Why are people are have this problem?

  • People don’t like to talk about money.
  • Some people and/or their families see package funds as their own personal money, this can cause them to make unreasonable demands.
  • Clients are not understanding the need for charges to cover administration and case management.

What can you do about it?

People from that generation often don’t like to talk about money e.g. older people often won’t discuss how much money they made in a year, it was considered rude to ask. Keep this aspect in mind and be sensitive to this. One approach it to have the person look at these funds as money that is provided for their care needs, not personal spending money. This might overcome their reluctance to engage in the conversation.

In many rural and remote settings decision making processes are often a family concern. It is important that people understand and are clear about what the money is for – this is a package of care and support for this person.

If people are making unreasonable demands use the excluded items list in the Home Care Guidelines. See last podcast for more information. 009 Supporting Good Decision Making Processes.

When it comes to the admin and case management components, some people don’t see the need for paying for these. It is important that people see that aged care is no different to other services they purchase eg phone or power both have administration charges. People As long as any charge can be explained, people will become used to it and will probably come to understand what it is for.

Get people to focus on the services or the products that the package will be able to purchase.

People can be distracted when discussing large amounts of money. They fall into the trap and think that they can buy all the goodies, people can get carried away when they look at the funds as a lump sum. Instead, break up the budget into monthly sums.

Draw out the conversation – literally!

One way to focus attention on services is to use illustrations. Using a pen and whiteboard, draw out figures and diagrams to graphically illustrate the picture of care. Another way is use talking cards. CDCS have recently developed some cards using our distinctive pictures from our graphic artist, but you can develop your own using photos or pictures from a magazine. Lots of bright colours work well.

Ask the consumer to move cards around – ask, ‘what do you like’ or ‘what do you need’.

Instead of clients waiting and listening to you they become involved in setting out their plan.

If consumers are illiterate use the idea of units instead of monetary values. Write the price of the service on the back of the card to identify that some services cost more than others. Have the consumer ‘spend’ their units. This is more engaging and deflects the conversation from ‘the money’ aspect to a focus on the care and support the person needs and wants.

This episode is part of a series on the Home Care Package reform 2017. Other episodes you may choose to listen to are:

CD005 Increasing Choice in Home Care Reforms

CD006 Increasing Choice in Home Care – Debunking the Myths

CD007 Bringing Your Team Along – HCP Reforms 2017

CD008 Supporting Transient Consumers

CD009 Supporting Good Decision Making

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Carrie and Kell

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