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Frequently asked questions

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frequently asked questions
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healthcare at home services

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We answer your most common questions. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please contact us.

Why choose healthcare at home over a residential facility?

Most people prefer to continue living at home, even as they age or need to manage chronic conditions. Healthcare at home helps you maintain your independence and dignity and choose which services will help you manage your health and remain safely in your home. There is also evidence to support better health care outcomes for people who choose to be treated at home. And in many cases you can also be better-off financially by choosing healthcare at home over residential care.

Why choose a professional healthcare at home provider such as Vitalis?

Vitalis provides integrated and personalised healthcare services, so you can select the most appropriate level of care for now, and adapt as your needs change. Our staff are trained and overseen by senior clinicians and are available to provide support and care coordination when needed, including the ability to rapidly step up to 24/7 care as needs evolve.

How does Vitalis choose its staff?

Vitalis conducts rigorous recruitment, screening and hiring processes to make sure our people are capable, experienced and qualified as nurses and caregivers. One key aspect includes the practical application of the Vitalis Golden Rule where our interviewers ask themselves, “Would I hire this person to care for my own family?” We put ourselves in your shoes so we can have absolute confidence in every member of the Vitalis team.

How do I know what I need?

Vitalis works with you and your family to assess, identify and deliver an individualised care plan that best matches what you need now, as well as considering what you may need in the future. We can recommend trusted service providers — to help you with anything from home modifications, aids, transport services and assistive technologies to keep you or your loved one safe at home — as well as connect you with support groups and programs.

Our comprehensive intake assessment helps our clients and their families decide what the most appropriate and cost-effective healthcare at home solutions are for their needs.
For most people, staying at home means they are better off from a health perspective as well as better off financially. We can help you tailor your healthcare at home services to best meet and manage your needs.

How can I pay for healthcare at home?

Vitalis will work with you and your family to help you manage your healthcare at home costs and to create a plan that meets your individual needs and finances. We can help you identify if you may be eligible for government funding or private health insurance rebates, and can connect you with a network of recommended advisors who can assist you with options for funding your healthcare.

How can I get government subsidised healthcare at home?

Older Australians and people with disabilities may be eligible for government funding that helps with the cost of healthcare at home. Australians aged 65 and older can find information at www.myagedcare.gov.au, people up to the age of 64 with disabilities can find information at https://www.ndis.gov.au

Is healthcare at home only for elderly people?

No. Healthcare at home can assist a young disabled individual, or a person who is recovering after being discharged from hospital. This includes complex clinical care services following life changing injuries, rehabilitation in the home following cardiac surgery, hip replacement surgery, or knee replacement surgery, as well as high level Hospital in the Home.

Are your nurses and caregivers employees of Vitalis?

Yes. All our nurses and caregivers are direct employees of Vitalis, not subcontractors. We pay all insurances and taxes associated with our nurses and caregivers. You will never be in the position of having to directly pay our nurses or caregivers.

Are your carers insured?

Yes. All Vitalis employees are covered under our comprehensive insurance policies. They also have up to date police checks and Working With Children Certificates.

How do you select your Nurses?

Vitalis employs Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses to provide in home healthcare for our patients. We also employ highly credentialed Registered Nurses (including Clinical Nurse Specialists) with many years of specialist training and clinical experience for our high acuity teams. In common with all our staff, we apply the Vitalis Golden Rule during the recruitment process. If the interviewer is absolutely confident that they would hire them to care for their own family, that nurse is invited to join the Vitalis team.

How does Vitalis select its Nursing Assistants (AINs) and Caregivers?

We aim to recruit the top 20% of qualified and experienced AINs and caregivers who have a genuine interest in providing healthcare for people in their homes. They are thoroughly screened, vetted, referenced checked and, in common with the recruitment of all our caregivers, we apply the Vitalis Golden Rule. If the interviewer is absolutely confident that they would hire them to care for their own family, that person is invited to join the Vitalis team.

How do I decide whether I need a Registered Nurse, Nursing Assistant or a Companion?

We’ll help you make that decision. Vitalis provides clients with a comprehensive intake assessment so our clients and their families decide what is right for them. This helps us to work with you to identify and tailor the most appropriate and cost-effective healthcare at home for you and your family.

What is Hospital in the Home?

Hospital in the Home (HITH) is an acute care service available for patients who wish to be discharged from hospital and continue their clinical care in the comfort of their own home. Acute care is delivered by our HITH service under the supervision of your treating doctor. Private health insurers usually cover the entire episode of care meaning no out of pocket costs for you.

How is my General Practitioner involved in my healthcare at home process?

If you are managing a condition or illness that requires a care plan, we work with your GP to continuously assess and administer your care plan as well as notify and respond to any changes that may arise. As much as possible, we will provide consistency in Vitalis staff so that clients and staff form bonds and build trust. If extensive or around-the-clock healthcare at home is required, a team of regular staff will be assigned on a shift basis.

What is the difference between live-in care and 24-hour care?

Live-in staff sleep in your home overnight and provide active care for an agreed period of time during waking hours. They will require a place to sleep and it is assumed they will have a relatively uninterrupted night’s sleep. If you are not able to accommodate a staff to sleep overnight or you require more care during the night, we can assign two or more staff to provide continuous care day and night.

What happens if there is an emergency at home?

You should always call 000 if you have a medical emergency. Your Vitalis staff is instructed to notify their Manager after 000 has been called. All staff are trained in emergency procedures and your care plan will include a priority list of people to call should an emergency arise. This list should always be kept up to date with the Vitalis office team and placed in a highly visible part of your home.

If I need to go to hospital, will my caregiver come with me?

It’s up to you, but we recommend that your caregiver goes with you so they can help facilitate the transition from home to hospital. Your caregiver can then communicate with family members and assist you until family can be there. Your caregiver is trained to immediately call their Manager.

Can my caregiver come with me in the Ambulance?

Yes, they can. Having your Vitalis staff member with you can help make sure you receive the highest level of attention and they can speak to hospital staff on your behalf about what you need. Vitalis can also provide advocacy and healthcare navigation services for you.

What if I am not happy with the caregiver I have been assigned?

If you are not happy with any aspect of your care or your caregiver, please call us on 1300 848 254 and a member of our staff will discuss this with you.

Can my caregiver run errands for me?

Yes. Your caregiver can assist you with errands such as shopping or collecting your dry-cleaning.

Can my caregiver accompany me to family occasions, take me to my favourite art gallery or accompany me for walks?

Yes, they can. Your caregiver can accompany you to a range of outings of your choice. You will need to cover any travel related expenses or additional costs that are incurred by your caregiver on such trips.

Do I have to provide meals for my caregiver?

No. You are not required to provide meals for your caregivers. Some clients enjoy the company of their caregivers at mealtimes and invite them to join them, especially when carers spend significant time with you in your home. However this is not a requirement.

Can my Vitalis staff member accompany me to my appointments?

Yes. Your Vitalis staff member can go with you to and from your medical and personal appointments, as well as accompany you when you run errands. You need to cover any travel related expenses that are incurred by your caregiver on such trips.

Is home healthcare available for respite care?

Yes, it is. Informal carers have a very demanding role and it’s important they have time to do the things they need to do, as well as simply have some time off. Vitalis can provide short term, one-off or ongoing respite care in the home.

Do I need a qualified nurse for my health care at home?

There are some things that require the services of a Registered Nurse. For example, to administer medications or for wound care. However, in many cases a properly trained and Registered Nurse supervised Nursing Assistant or Companion is all that is required. This keeps your home care costs at a much more reasonable level, but retains the clinical care backup if needed.

How can I find the right healthcare services?

Vitalis can help you navigate the health care system to help you find the care you need. Call us for a confidential discussion.

What are my responsibilities towards Vitalis staff in my home?

It is essential that staff are safe when they provide your healthcare at home services. Before we start, we will need to conduct a Workplace Health and Safety assessment and repeat this periodically to ensure your care is appropriate to your needs and can be safely delivered by our staff.

What are Nursing Assistants and caregivers not allowed to do?

Nursing Assistants and caregivers are not permitted to do anything that is clinical or invasive in nature. For example, our Nursing Assistants can assist with showering and continence care but cannot administer injections.

Does Vitalis provide healthcare at home for complex needs?

Absolutely! Vitalis has had a Complex Care in the Home department since 2020. We provide exceptional care and support for patients with a range of complex needs (for example, people with spinal cord injuries who require 24/7 ventilation and around-the-clock care). Working in collaboration with the hospital team, we develop programs and assign staff specifically trained in each individual’s complex care needs. We can even help with the funding application to ensure the right package is in place.

Contact us to learn more.

Can I recover at home instead of going into residential care once I'm discharged from hospital?

Yes, you can. If you’re ready to be discharged from hospital but aren’t yet able to look after yourself, temporary residential care is often put forward as the next step. However, there are both subsidised and private services that can help you recover at home instead. This can be a major relief for some patients, who may worry that they’ll never be able to go back into their own home once they’ve been in residential care.

Ask your hospital discharge planner whether the hospital offers home-based care services that can help you and whether you can have an ACAT assessment before discharge. That might unlock access for you to some government-subsidised home care services.

You can also engage Vitalis to provide help with personal and nursing care to assist with your recovery at home. We can also help with Hospital in the Home (HITH) and Rehabilitation in the Home (RITH) services if required.

Contact us to learn more.

Is it possible to be treated for cancer at home?

Many cancer patients want to recover at home while having any post-operative treatment such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. However, this can be difficult because the treatment can leave patients feeling sick and exhausted, and reliant on loved ones who may not be able to provide the level and amount of care or support required.

The good news is that there are services that can help. Ask your clinic nurse what services you can access through your treating hospital.

You can also engage Vitalis to help you manage your healthcare and personal needs at home. Vitalis uses an integrated model of care that extends from helping you with the basics such as transport and appointments right through to organising medications to help with pain relief and nausea, wound care and physiotherapy services.

Vitalis also has a specialised clinical team of nurses who can provide Hospital in the Home care and Cancer Treatments in the Home. This can keep your time in hospital as short as possible and enable you to can recover in the comfort of your own home, while still receiving any high-level clinical care needed.

Contact us to learn more.

Can I get rehab at home after a knee or hip replacement?

You certainly can! In fact, more and more people are choosing to recover at home after joint-replacement surgery instead of staying in hospital or going to a rehabilitation facility. Rehabilitation in the Home (RITH) also helps patients recover faster and avoid some of the complications that can arise from a prolonged hospital stay, such as infection. Many private health funds also fully subsidise RITH.

Vitalis RITH combines in-person physiotherapy visits with nurse visits and telehealth support from our specialist orthopaedic nurses, giving you the peace of mind that you’ll always have support when you need it.

Contact us to learn more.

Does Vitalis help people with Motor Neurone Disease?

Vitalis supports patients with complex progressive conditions such as MND, initially with personal care and help with day-to-day needs such as transport to appointments, but then progressing to clinical care (including palliative care) as needs change. We work closely with your clinical team (GP, specialists, allied health professionals) to support you, including enabling you to remain at home with your family through to the end of your journey.

Contact us to learn more.

Does Vitalis provide rehabilitation after cardiac surgery?

Vitalis provides cardiac rehabilitation as part of our Rehabilitation in the Home service. It is popular option with patients due to convenience, reduced risk of infection, being able to avoid hard-to-find and expensive hospital parking, and having more control over your healthcare journey. Many private health funds fully subsidise cardiac RITH.

Vitalis RITH combines in-person physiotherapy visits with telehealth support from our specialist cardiac nurses, giving you the peace of mind that you’ll always have support if you need it.

Contact us to learn more.

Can I get IV antibiotics at home?

If you require IV antibiotics after a serious infection, you may be able to receive them at home as part of a Hospital in the Home (HITH) service. Public hospitals may have their own HITH service; if you are in a private hospital you can request referral to Vitalis HITH. The cost is usually full covered by your health fund.

Patients eligible for Vitalis HITH are usually transferred home the same day or next day. Our highly trained, caring Registered Nurses will then visit you each day to provide your treatment.

Contact us to learn more.

What alternatives are there to nursing homes for elderly family members?

For some people, a nursing home is the best answer, but for many other, well-structured care at home is a better option. There is a range of subsidised and private services available to help people stay safely at home. If you have a loved one who you think could benefit from this, The first step is to encourage them to have an assessment of their health and care needs, including cognitive. This will help you and them see what services and location are best suited to their needs. Often what’s needed is companionship and help with things like shopping and meal preparation, light housekeeping and activities that engage her interest and help her re-establish social connections. Vitalis can help with this assessment, as well as providing clinically supervised longer-hours care that gives you peace of mind that your loved one is safe at home.

Contact us to learn more.

Can I have an iron infusion at home?

Yes. Vitalis nurses are experts in providing iron therapy at home, as well as a range of other infusion treatments. These can be scheduled at times that works best for you, and is a much more convenient option than having to go to an infusion centre on a regular basis.

Contact us to learn more.

Does Vitalis provide end-of-life support at home?

Yes. Vitalis provides expert and compassionate palliative care. Working with your clinical team (GP, palliative care physician, etc.) Vitalis provides much-needed support for patients in their end-of-life journey, with care increasing to match evolving needs. Some health funds support their members with at-home palliative care funding.

Contact us to learn more.

Can Vitalis provide at-home support for people with dementia?

Vitalis staff are skilled in helping people with dementia. This includes monitoring physical and mental changes that may indicate underlying conditions such as pain, depression or hearing loss that contribute to a patient’s anxiety. In-home care can enable people to continue living at home and enjoy a better quality of life.

Importantly, it can also give full-time carers a much-needed break to attend to their own needs, knowing their loved one is safe and well cared for. Supporing a loved one with advancing dementia can be challenging and the burden on carers is significant. Having a comprehensive assessment, assistive technology and an experienced caregiver to assist at home can reduce the stress and deliver peace of mind.

Contact us to learn more.

What Our Clients Say

The nurses who cared for name were so caring & efficient. We were contacted each day with an eta as well. Thank you so much for your help with his recovery.

JG, East Kurrajong, June 2019

Everyone was fantastic! Caring, professional, personable, punctual. The ‘only way to go’! Congratulations!

TG, Pennant Hills, April 2019

Absolutely fantastic organisation. Everyone I dealt with was helpful, cheery and professional.

SW, September 2019

We found the nursing staff very friendly and helpful. Always on time and at times flexible with arranging times. The care and attention to detail was very much appreciated. Thank you so much.

JO, West Pymble, May 2019

Nothing beats being at home. Efficient, professional, sympathetic and friendly nurses – all come with a smile. Comprehensive care in a non-obtrusive manner. Highly recommended.

CR, Alexandria, April 2021

Your staff were wonderful: punctual, friendly, helpful, professional at all times.

JD, Kenthurst, October 2019

We found your service exceptional. All your nurses are wonderful and couldn’t have treated my mother better. Many thanks for all the kindness.

MO, Wahroonga, October 2019

After major surgery, Vitalis services facilitated my early discharge to my home through their services. All staff were expert nurses, dependable, helpful, knowledgeable and caring. Their recording of my recovery was also particular and accurate.

PT, Bayview, September 2019

Your HITH service was most excellent and each and every one of the numerous ever so capable nurses who visited me seven days a week over a long period were so friendly, bright and thorough, keeping me at home instead of still being in hospital.

JT, Epping, September 2019

Vitalis provides a highly competent, flexible alternative to hospital admission. Professional with advanced communication skills.

DR, Denistone, August 2019

I am extremely grateful for the excellent care and service provided by the nurses. The staff were all very caring, friendly, well trained and knowledgeable. Thank you to everyone for looking after me so well.

AO, North Turramurra, July 2019

The service was excellent both with regard to professional capabilities and with friendly and helpful manner of all the visiting nurses.

JR, Hunters Hill, April 2019
Vitalis - Quality Healthcare at Home

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