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Home care providers can learn from NDIS


Home aged care providers can take a leaf from the disability service book, where the individual support package model is setting the tone for the future of consumer directed care, an industry conference will hear.

Marcia Baron

Marcia Baron, director of People and Culture Solutions, will talk about balancing consumer dignity and choice in the home care environment with health and safety at LASA’s Tri-State Conference next week.

The key to this, delegates will hear, is for providers to work with clients and their families in a collaborative manner to provide customised solutions that balance principles of choice with legislated health and safety requirements.

Baron says the disability sector has offered clients choice in the delivery of their services for many years,  with states like Victoria delivering individual support packages for almost two decades.

“The disability sector has a very profound consumer voice and that voice is very consistent in their view of how their service needs to be delivered,” she told Community Care Review.

“Disability has an empowerment model they want to maintain, and I think aged care could learn from that because consumer-directed care is all about more empowerment for people and their families around how their services are delivered.

“I think aged care will start to experience what that means in a consumer driven market and I think it make a lot of sense to be talking together around health and safety.”

Ongoing dialogue needed

Baron says over the last ten years People and Culture Solutions’ human resource practitioners have worked with consumers in their own homes looking at clients’ preferred way to receive their care, while balancing that with workforce health and safety issues.

She says a person-centred approach has proved to be the best option whether in the home or a public space, which brings its own risks.

“When we’re talking about the home environment the biggest health and safety issues are really about managing risk in a systematic way,” she says.

“When you’re working in a home environment each home is different, each worker that enters into that environment will bring a new variable with them. When we’re dealing with personal care, where people needing to do manual handling, all of that shifts the level of risk to a very individual process.”

She says an ongoing discussion between aged care and NDIS providers has been lacking in this regard.

“I certainly think it is a missed opportunity in relation to health and safety,” she says.

Workforce training is also important, Baron says.

“(Both sectors) are competing for that workforce they bring similar skills, different culture but similar skills and technical knowledge,” she says. “Both sectors are essentially competing for the same workforce, so it makes sense to work together.”

 A person-centered approach to balancing choice and safety

  • People making choices about how care is delivered
  • Focusing on solutions
  • Working with the client and their families
  • Providing customised solutions
  • Input from a number of experts

Lessons from the NDIS

  • Corporate support is important
  • Measurable return for corporate support
  • Working with clients results in better results for everyone
  • Clients and families become safety-conscious
  • No one-size-fits all solution
  • Corporate support staff can be skilled in person-centred practice

LASA’s Tri-State Conference will be held at the Albury Entertainment Centre from February 24-26.

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