More choice and control – self-managed Home Care Packages proving a compelling alternative for many Australians

Australians self-managing their Home Care Packages (HCPs) feel like they receive greater choice, more control, lower costs and more consistency of care than they would from traditional home care packages managed by providers.

This is the result of a study, undertaken by Dr Sarah Russell from Research Matters, and commissioned by Mable, an online platform that connects people with home care services.

The study looked at the lived experience of 30 Australians self-managing with Mable.

At a time where deficiencies in Australia’s current aged care system are under the microscope, Dr Russell’s research aims to bring a human voice to the conversation.

Greater choice

The research report notes it is clear that ‘choice’ is one of the key advantages of self-managing a Home Care Package and using platforms like Mable can provide this.

Mable gives users the opportunity to choose who works in their home, when they work, what they do and how much they are paid.

And many respondents felt this sense of empowerment alone improved their quality of life.

“Rather than one support worker who did numerous tasks, participants could engage support workers such as cleaners, gardeners, qualified carers, an experienced cook and someone with whom they were compatible,” Dr Russell noted.
More control

Increased ‘control’ by Home Care Package recipients was another key theme.

Many respondents cited instances where traditional providers had made ageist assumptions about their care needs, providing something unsuitable or irrelevant.

But a self-managed model like Mable lets participants tailor their support.

“They really valued their relationships with their support workers and their ability to communicate directly with them, to negotiate rates and flexible times, and to easily make changes if needed,” Dr Russell’s report adds.
Lower costs

Value for money was also a big factor.

Participants naturally wanted to be getting as much as they could out of their Home Care Package – a key advantage of Mable’s self-managed platform.

Lower package management and case management fees meant participants had more money available in their packages to devote to care.

This is a result of the lower administration fees typically seen when self-managing. For instance, Participant 4 in the report noted:

“We get more than twice the hours [with self-management]” compared to provider-managed.”

Consistency of care

Another compelling concept was consistency of care.

Many respondents self-managing their Home Care Packages with the Mable platform enjoyed the ability to choose their own support workers, and to continue engaging the same workers over the long term.

“Participants described their initial provider sending a large number of support workers to their homes, often at irregular times,” the report notes.

“In contrast, Mable enabled both choice and continuity to support workers.”

Self-managed home care an option all Australians should be aware of
Mable CEO Peter Scutt says it’s important older Australians are aware of self-management as an option.
“We need to focus more on rights and choices. As individuals we have these rights and we are entitled to choice and control over our lives, regardless of our age or health status,” adds Mr Scutt.

“This research demonstrates that for many people, self-management of their home care package is a very important expression of those rights.”

Dr Russell’s work indicates self-managed home care packages can provide choice, control, lower costs and a consistency of care.

And this is something we all want for ourselves and our Mums and Dads.

To learn more about Self Managing a Home Care Package, and to read the research report, click here.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.