Have you been considering getting a little home help? A lot of people ponder the idea but soon give up on it because they don’t know what’s available, who can provide it or how much it will cost. It’s actually easier than you think to make it happen, and you might be surprised to know what kind of help you can access.
As an older Australian, you might be experiencing a little slowing down. Tasks become more tiring, you can’t lift the laundry basket like you used to and you don’t want to be out in the sun mowing the lawn. Home help services play a vital role in helping keep clients remain independent in their homes for longer. With in-home help, you can have someone else do the housework and yard work for you.
If you’re interested in getting a little in-home help to make life easier and more enjoyable, we’ve created this article for you.
- What is the price range of home help services
- What kinds of services are offered?
- What funding am I eligible for?
- What does my funding cover?
- What qualifications does a support worker have?
- What is covered by insurance?
- Questions to ask your home help support person before hiring.
What is the price range of home help services?
Social Support and Domestic Assistance, which includes light housework, light gardening and cleaning ranges in price between $29 – $39 per hour. The average rate on Mable was approximately $34.5 per hour at the time of publication.
Typically the price range of home help services does not vary much between states.
What kinds of services are offered?
In-home help can include many different services. Inside, it can be housework and outside it can be yard work. Naturally you want your home to feel as comfortable, clean and organised as it can be. Your Independent Support Person can come in and tidy up your home for you; change your sheets or make your bed, empty rubbish bins, vacuum the floor and wash the dishes. Or they can perform cleaning tasks like sanitising the bathroom and toilet, mopping the floor and dusting. You can even have your support person in to do some meal prep for you.
For the outside of your home, you can hire a support person to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the garden and hose the back deck. All of these tasks and more are important to your day-to-day living. A clean, tidy home and yard are safer and more enjoyable and add to your ease and peace of mind.
What funding am I eligible for?
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for government funding. If you are a senior Australian, you could apply for a Home Care Package through My Aged Care. If you have a disability, you may be eligible for coverage through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). An assessment process is required for either of these and the outcome will determine how much money will be allocated to you for in-home help. While you wait to find out if your application is approved, you can still hire support workers however you will have to pay in full, out of pocket.
What does my funding cover?
Again, it depends on the level of funding your package allows, based on your individual situation. NDIS and Home Care Packages can be used towards a wide array of support services such as personal care, nursing services, mobility, transport, social engagement, help around work, study and travel goals, housework and assistance with independent living.
What help is available for the elderly at home?
The federal government aims to encourage elderly Australians to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. That’s why there is an abundance of in-home help services to choose from. Basic housework, laundry and ironing, meal preparation and taking the person to appointments are all featured in Home Care Packages. Qualified nurses can administer medicines, change dressings, manage continence issues and take standard observations. Companionship can involve taking the elderly person out for lunch or to visit friends or can simply be a cup of tea and a sandwich together twice a week. Mowing the lawn, feeding pets and home handyman tasks are also services that can be covered in Home Care Packages.
What is included under domestic assistance services?
Domestic assistance services are services in Home Care Packages that help to keep you well, independent and safe in your own home. Your support person can help to ensure you are eating well by assisting with food shopping, meal preparation and keeping your pantry, fridge and freezer rid of expired items. You might need help showering and dressing or need your bed’s sheets changed. You can receive help with your laundry, cleaning your kitchen, bathroom and floors and even have your windows washed.
As your needs change, you may need security lighting, grab rails, ramps or a chair lift installed. Domestic assistance covers all these kinds of services as well as having uneven flooring fixed, your yard cleaned of debris and your home’s gutters cleaned out.
What qualifications does a support worker have?
The range of services available is very broad. For some of those, such as companionship, housework and running errands, no formal qualifications are necessary. At the other end of the scale, support workers may have nursing and other medical qualifications. Many of the Independent Support People you would find on Mable have Certificate or Diploma qualifications in Disability, Community Services and Social Work.
The profiles of all Independent Support People for hire on the Mable platform display qualifications, if any and they will always be checked and verified by the Mable admin team.
What is covered by insurance?
Mable partners with Zurich Australian Insurance Limited to provide our community with the peace of mind of knowing insurance coverage applies to all paid support sessions through the platform. Support people have General Liability, Professional Indemnity and Personal Accident cover.
Questions to ask your home help support person before hiring
Before you invite someone into your home as a support worker, you want to feel comfortable about them as a person and as a provider of in-home help. If you are considering them as someone who can help with housework such as cleaning and tidying, you may not be concerned with qualifications, but more about the kind of individual they are. On the Mable platform, there are personalities of all types. Some may suit you, some may not and it’s important that you find the right person to fit.
- Have you worked with aged/disabled clients before?
- What kinds of tasks can you help me with?
- Are you the type to be obsessively clean or more relaxed and simply do a good job?
- Do you like a chat, or do you prefer just to get the job done and be on your way?
- Why have you chosen to be a support worker for aged/disabled clients?
- Are you ok with pets in the house?
- Is there anything you’re not comfortable with? (Examples could be having family members present, unpleasant odours, lots of stairs, etc.)
- Do you have a first aid or CPR certificate?
- Do you speak my native language?
- What’s your personality like? For instance, are you quiet and reserved or bubbly and fun?
Can my support person cook meals for me?
There are lots of support people on the Mable platform who love to cook! When you hire someone to do meal prep for you, they will ask you what kinds of foods you enjoy eating and plan meals around your preferences. Maybe you’re of Italian heritage and you like pasta dishes. Or maybe you’re a vegetarian who eats the odd piece of fish. You just have to let them know and they’ll cater around your choices.
Your support person can make up a few dishes for you to eat over several days or cut up meats, fruits and vegetables, ready for you to do the final cooking later on. They can also do your grocery shopping and portion ingredients to freeze in single serve packs. It all comes under home help services.
The care you deserve is yours for the asking
As an older Australian or a disabled Australian, you deserve to have access to home help to make life easier. If you are not currently on an NDIS plan or Home Care Package, you can pay for the services yourself while you get your application underway.
It’s important that you understand that you are worthy of these conveniences. They’re not at all luxuries or extravagances. You need them to manage your day-to-day life because you can’t do it all yourself anymore.
Lots of Mable clients try out our in-home help services out of curiosity. They wonder if a couple of hours here or there could take the pressure off. Even just having someone in to do the washing is of huge benefit to someone with painful arthritis. Paying a support person to come in and wash the bath and toilet prevents hazards like slips and falls.
Eventually, clients who try our home help services realise that they’re so much better off and that by doing so, they are actually looking after themselves. Acknowledging that you need help is something to be proud of. No one wants you to fall or to hurt yourself in any other way. You have a right to a clean, pleasant environment that is of minimal risk to you.
When a ‘stranger’ isn’t a stranger
Any time you invite someone into your home, whether socially or for any kind of services, you want to know that they’re safe, trustworthy and will fit well with the culture in your home. Even if they only intend to provide basic housework assistance, anyone who wants to become an Independent Support Person on the Mable platform has to go through multiple verification processes before they can be approved.
Before they can start offering in-home help, we take a close look at their profile, we have them undergo a Police Check and if they’re going to be around children, we require them to hold a valid Blue Card. We also verify any qualifications such as Diplomas, Certificates or Degrees and we conduct reference checks to speak with others who know them personally or have worked with them.
Only once we are satisfied with their credentials can their profile be made visible in searches. Also, every Independent Support Person who delivers services via the Mable platform is covered by a comprehensive suite of insurances that protects them and their clients.
You can even read support people’s reviews on their profiles so you can see what other people who have engaged them through Mable have to say about them.
Great people, great at their jobs!
We’re really proud to say that the Independent Support People who offer home help services via Mable are some of the nicest folks around. They are caring human beings who have chosen a career of looking after others. And because they’re independent, they get to choose the services they offer. That means if they’re passionate about cooking, that’s what they’ll offer. If they get a buzz out of cleaning and tidying, they’re probably really good at it and you’ll love their work. Independent service providers choose their niche and stick to it and the benefit for you is that they take great pride in what they do.
Temporary, ad hoc and ongoing home help services
Perhaps you only need help with the housework for a little while because a family member who usually helps you is going away on holidays. You can hire an Independent Support Person through the Mable platform for just that period if you like. Maybe you usually get nursing visits through a dedicated nursing service provider but you’re finding you can’t keep up with the cleaning right now. That’s ok too. We’re here for you whenever you have a need, to provide in-home help that will make life easier and more comfortable.
Real life examples
Here are some examples of how clients are being supported with in-home help through the Mable platform right now:
- Cath broke her right wrist and needs help with cleaning, cooking, washing and ironing.
- Roy recently lost his wife and needs some support getting back on his feet. He has a support person who helps with housework and laundry and another who keeps the yard maintained.
- Simon had to give up mowing the lawn as it was becoming too much for him. Now he has a support person who comes once a fortnight to keep the grass down and the gardens free from weeds.
- Margaret can no longer change the sheets on her bed so her support person comes in once a week to put on a clean set for her. While waiting for the washing machine to finish, her support person cleans the kitchen and bathroom.
- Maria has arthritis and has trouble cutting vegetables and meat for her dinners but definitely wants to keep cooking for herself. Twice a week, her support person spends a couple of hours getting the ingredients ready for Maria to use when she’s ready.
- Trevor initially organised a support person to provide in-home help because he has two indoor dogs and couldn’t keep up with cleaning up after them. He now also has another support person do his washing and clean his kitchen and bathroom once a week.
In-home help is just a few clicks away
Instead of trying to manage, instead of struggling to do what you used to do comfortably, get yourself on Mable and look around. Once you see the kinds of people who are offering in-home help and the services they provide, you’ll find yourself feeling exhilarated. You’re not the only one who wishes they didn’t need help. But you’ll also not be the only one who soon discovers how wonderful it is to receive it.
Register now for free to connect with Independent Support People who can provide friendly, professional home help so you can stay in your home and live a happy, comfortable life.
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