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Q&A with Nyree Thompson, Home Care Coordinator – How an Interim Home Care Package Helped Ralph at Home

Have you received a letter approving a home care package that will not start for another 9-12 months?

We get many calls from clients who get approval for a home care package but need to wait 9-12 months to start using their package. This can be worrying and frustrating when you need help sooner than later.

St Louis have often stepped in on behalf of our clients to help them get started with an interim home care package as in many cases, it is too long to wait. This was the case with one of our clients, Ralph, who was approved for a level 2 package but was told he had to wait up to 12 months.

Nyree is one of Home Care Coordinators in Victor Harbor, and she discusses below how we helped Ralph, who did not have access to funds for private services, to get started with some support at home.

Case Study - Ralph

How was Ralph coping at home?

“Ralph needed help at home for domestic chores, social activities, meal preparation and gardening. He was always a proud gardener and loved his well maintained garden which gave him a sense of joy.

He was struggling on his own at home and did not have family around him to help. He was on a wait list with an expected wait time for 9+ month for a Level 2 home care package.

His main concern was preparing meals with proper nutrition and that his garden was not being looked after. He was also on supplementary oxygen every day due to respiratory issues.”

What sort of help did he need?

“The home care team at St Louis stepped in to help. We called My Aged Care with his permission and explained that he was unable to wait 12 months and needed help much sooner. He had not been offered an interim package so we requested this on his behalf.

My Aged Care were very helpful, and they started his application process for an interim package until his level 2 home care package was approved. We called again a few days later and they informed us that he would have access to an interim package in about four weeks time.

Sometimes My Aged Care will send you a letter of approval for your home care package and they may offer an interim lower level package but sometimes they will not. Either way, you can request to access a lower level package on the meantime until your higher level package is approved. Also, you will not lose your place in the queue if you start an interim package.”

Even though he needed Level 2 support, how did a Level 1 package help him?

“Ralph needed help at home for house chores, social activities, meal preparation and gardening. But we only had a Level 1 package so we worked out his priorities together.

For Ralph, the most important things were getting quality home cooked meals and that his garden was looked after as he enjoyed spending time there during the day. Together we created a care plan that used the funds in his interim home care package for these services.’

What will the transition involve when he finally receives his level 2 home care package?

“The transition process involves creating a new home care plan with the additional services. When this happens for Ralph, he will receive all the services he needs at home that will help him live comfortably.”

What difference has it made to his daily lifestyle?

“He is in a much better state of health, with meals he enjoys, that have good nutritional value. His garden is looking the way he wants it, and he is also enjoying the interaction with the staff that attend to support him.

A little bit of support can go a long way for our clients. Ralph’s outlook has changed for the better and he is happier. Even though he needs more services which will be possible when his level 2 package become available, he is now part of the St Louis family and has someone to turn to when he needs it. Help is only a phone call away.

We have received numerous calls from Ralph letting us know how grateful he is for St Louis’ home care support as he found the whole process very overwhelming. Ralph is happy to be eating roast lamb and apple pies again – and it helps that one of our care workers happens to be a pastry chef!

A few months later, Ralph’s level 2 package became available and we are now providing the additional social support and extra domestic help that he always wanted.

Do you need interim home care until your homecare package becomes available?

Call the St Louis Home Care team in Adelaide on 8332 0950 or St Louis Home Care Victor Harbor on 8552 1481 to discuss your options. We are here to help you live comfortably at home.