Last week a Old-School-Approved-Provider who I will call XYZ called their client and said “Daughterly Care has cancelled their services going forward with immediate effect”. The Approved Provider said they would be providing their own care staff from now on.

That was an outright lie to the client’s husband …

aged care home package respite live-in

Let’s call him Ernst. His wife, has Alzheimer’s, let’s call her Edith.

The truth is Daughterly Care had not cancelled Edith’s services.

On the contrary, that same day XYZ Approved Provider had emailed us “cancel all ongoing services effective immediately”.  No explanation given.  Our Case Manager was really concerned that Edith had been hospitalised and for “closure” reasons we asked XYZ Approved Provider what had happened to Edith. No reply. Stony silence.

Ernst was really disappointed in Daughterly Care cancelling their services…

…because our Caregiver, Jenny, is a wonderful companion for his wife and therefore the service works really well.

Edith really enjoys Jenny’s companionship and their time out of the house together gives Ernst precious time to work from his home office, uninterrupted – time that he finds enjoyable, productive and a priceless break away from his caring role.

Ernst, in his 80s, is fortunate to still enjoy his part-time academic career.

When Ernst realised that his faith-based Approved Provider had potentially lied to him he called his Approved Provider Case Manager and asked “why did you tell me Daughterly Care had cancelled us?”

The Case Manager confirmed she lied by answering “it’s bureaucratic”.

Trust is a gift that Elders give Approved Providers and Care Providers ONCE

elders aged care approved providers home

By lying, XYZ Approved Provider had lost Ernst’s trust and confidence.

Ernst was disappointed that XYZ Approved Provider was prepared to put their business wants above his wife’s care needs.

XYZ Approved Provider forgot one very important legal fact that you need to know

From the 27th February 2017, Edith’s Home Care Package, is not the Approved Provider’s Home Care Package to direct.

On the 27th February 2017 the Government fully introduced Consumer Directed Care Reforms and in doing so they gave Edith, and Ernst, as her Enduring Power of Attorney, 9 powerful new rights.

elder rights consumer directed care

Of the 9 new rights, Approved Provider XYZ breached 3 by lying to Ernst:

1. Elders have the right to choose their Approved Provider.… 

Ernst decided not to be a victim, instead he used his personal power and new rights and exercised his right to move Edith’s Home Care Package from XYZ Approved Provider to Daughterly Care Community Services.  He also requested that for the next two weeks that XYZ Approved Provider continue to contract his same Daughterly Care Caregiver, Jenny, so that there was no change to Edith’s routine.

2. Elders have the right to choose who supplies their care… 

Approved Provider XYZ should never have cancelled Daughterly Care Community Services so they could use their own staff. They had no legal right to do that without asking the client. They should have been honest with their client.  They could have said, “we would like to stop using Daughterly Care because we have employed our own staff, is that okay with you?”

(In reality, XYZ is worried that their clients will transfer their Home Care Package to us. But their fear is unfounded – it’s late August 2017 and we have not approached “their clients” and we did not approach this client. We could have transferred this client to us in March 2017 but we didn’t. I personally reassured the XYZ Case Manager, face to face, in our office that we would not approach “their clients” and we have not done so.)

Edith would still have her in Home Care Package with Approved Provider XYZ if they had been less fearful and more client focused.  Secondly, had they been honest with their client – the client might have given their staff a go.

3. Elders have the right to be treated as an equal partner with no retribution.

Lying to Ernst was not treating him and Edith as an equal partner.

Edith and Ernst had absolutely no say in the decision to cancel Daughterly Care – this is not the way Consumer Directed Care works. It’s not the Approved Provider’s money – it’s Edith’s Government Funding.

[As an aside, this is why I call some Approved Providers “Old-School-Approved-Providers” because they supply “Provider-Directed-Care” which is the way the Government funded in home aged care industry has operated for the past 21 years. However “Provider-Directed-Care” is now extinct for Consumers who know and exercise their rights.]

Provider-directed care now extinct

The Approved Provider Case Manager’s answer shows the Old-School Approved Provider was prepared to breach the Home Care Package Guidelines issued by the Government and more importantly, disregard the preference of their client and breach their own vision statement.

So after Ernst spoke to his Case Manager, he and Edith got in their car and drove to our Narrabeen office

Ernst wanted to “eye ball us”. Face to face he quizzed us.

“Did Daughterly Care cancel my wife’s services?”

No, we had not.  We had been cancelled by the Old-School-Approved-Provider via email, no explanation given.

“They forget we are human beings, not pieces of meat”

Ernst’s exact words to us were “I’m really pissed off with XYZ, they forget we are human beings not pieces of meat”.

Ernst asked “what could Daughterly Care do if I transferred my wife’s Home Care Package to you?” 

home care package government funded elder aged

Edith is approved for a Level 4 in Home Care Package but has only been assigned a Level 2 Home Care Package (a very common scenario for Elders because the Government doesn’t have enough Level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages to meet the demand). A Team Leader of an Aged Care Assessment Team recently told our Registered Nurse that Elders are likely to have to wait one to two years to receive their Level 4 Home Care Package.  [You can see the Government funding levels for packages on this page].

Edith was receiving 4 hours a week of care paid for by her Government Funded Home Care Package through XYZ Approved Provider.

We explained that Daughterly Care Community Services is also an Approved Provider and we could:

✓ provide 20% more care each week of care;

✓ we would reduce their weekly contribution to the cost of care by 26% pa and they can keep the Caregiver who provides wonderful companionship to Edith, giving Ernst a precious break to work; and

✓ we reduced their administration cost from 35% to 10% pa.

Ernst and Edith considered their options over the weekend and decided to transfer their Home Care Package over to Daughterly Care Community Services.

This lying to Elders is not a once off and it has to stop

Elders have been lied to on many occasions.

One of the worst cases was a lady only in her 60s who was in the palliative care stage from a neurological condition. She had been a Case Manager of community in home aged care and that’s why she chose Daughterly Care to provide her care. She knew from her years of first-hand-experience we were the best in home care provider, she had used for her clients’ care.

Our Caregivers had been looking after her for a number of years until her Approved Provider, let’s call them CDE-Old-School-Approved-Provider, cancelled us with no discussion with the client in order to put their own staff in.

The client was devastated, she was in the final weeks of her life and she wanted to retain the Daughterly Care Caregivers who she knew and trusted so well

elder palliative death dying end life live-in home care

We knew her home, her illness and most importantly, we knew her and how she liked to be supported and cared for.  It was devastating for the client and heart breaking for our Caregivers to see her powerlessness and her sense of hopelessness,  knowing how close she was to the end of her life.

She felt terribly sad and ‘let down’ to be in her final journey of life without her known and trusted Caregivers.

She died two weeks later.

Change at that late stage was cruel and completely unnecessary

No thought for the needs of the client – just what suited their business best.

CDE Old-School-Approved-Provider had decided that strategically they couldn’t keep contracting care work to Daughterly Care – we were too good and when their clients had “consumer choice”, in time to come…well, there was a high risk they would move to Daughterly Care.  So they cancelled our clients across the board – without even making an exception for this palliative client.

Today, if the Elder knows their rights, changing the care provider cannot happen without the client’s permission.

Another cruel example with CDE Old-School-Approved-Provider was that for 6 years we had provided the same mature lady every week to visit a client in her 90s. She was very happy with our Caregiver who she trusted and who knew her, her care routine and her home.  CDE Old-School-Approved-Provider cancelled Daughterly Care with no notice and installed their own carers.

The elderly lady in her 90s was devastated and tried to argue against this change – but this was pre-Consumer Directed Care Reforms, so she had no rights, no power and her Approved Provider did not care to accommodate her preferences.

elder upset approved provider

Those are 2 examples of pre-Consumer Directed Care when clients had no say, no power and no rights.

Once Consumer Directed Care was introduced clients who had enjoyed Daughterly Care and had persevered with CDE staff requested to have Daughterly Care once again provide their service.  Six times one client made this request, 6 times she was denied her right to choose who provides her care.  Finally her daughter threated to lodge a complaint with the Health Minister. Within minutes of that threat, her RIGHT to choose ‘who provides the care’ i.e. Daughterly Care was granted.

Recently the Case Manager of URS-Old-School-Approved-Provider rang to cancel services for a client.  She said “management said we can no longer use Daughterly Care, so expect a lot more cancellations”

I wonder if they will tell the truth to clients or if they will lie to them and give them no choice?

We have not approached “their clients” to transfer their Home Care Package to us. We have respected that “their clients” are “theirs”. Just because  they “merely contract that care work to us” does not make them our clients.

However there are clients who were “our private clients” before they received a Home Care Package from the Old-School Approved Provider. In reality, they are “our clients” and we have the legal right to speak to those clients and most of those clients have transferred their Home Care Package to us because they like dealing with just one company – us.

The reality is that “the client owns the client”

Old School Approved Providers have to learn that they don’t own clients.

The client owns the client. You own you!

It’s not Approved- Provider-Directed-Care – it is Consumer Directed Care now – this is the power the Government has given older Australians now, so that they can remain in charge of their life and aged care.

The only valid long-term truth is that you attract and retain clients by offering great service at good value.  Everyday you work hard to retain clients and short cuts called “lying” will never work in the long run, they will trick some Elders for a while.

In home care is health care for seniors

When in home care is done well it:

✓ improves Elders’ well-being, their quality of their life and their joy of living;

✓ reduces depression;

✓ increases social connection;

✓ reduces unnecessary hospitalisations; and

✓ extends their years living at home, where Elders prefer to live.

The Government knows this, that’s why they offer the Government Funded in Home Care Package Program including to self-funded Older People. That’s also why they have now given more power to Older Australians to control their aged care support.

There is no value in administration

Actually, I write that administration has no value however one of the most common reasons that Elders have given for transferring their Home Care Packages to Daughterly Care Community Services is because of the:

✓ high fees; (Elder loses 46% of her Government funding)
✓ poor accounting; ($29,888.34 overcharge errors made)
✓ high overcharging rates; ($45,263.67 refunded to 3 clients)