North Queensland Not-For-Profit Calls for Overhaul of My Aged Care System

If we can get the “starting point” of the aged care journey right, we’ll be able to enhance the quality of life for all.”

AUTHOR: Wayne Crase, CEO Everglow Community Care

Everglow Community Care has been helping elderly North Queenslanders to stay safely in their own homes for more than 30 years. During this time, there have been many government programs, initiatives and services that have come and gone.

The Federal Government’s website spruiks My Aged Care as the “starting points on your aged care journey”; the only issue being, the “starting point” is causing a huge amount of distress for elderly people who are unable to navigate what is an extremely complicated system.

To access My Aged Care, elderly people are told to either apply online via the internet or to ring through to a call centre. Many of our aged care clients are simply unable to access a computer or understand how to navigate the system which is presenting a huge barrier to them being able to access important services.

Everglow Community Care was contacted by a local North Queensland lady recently who was so distraught and stressed because she couldn’t understand or make sense of what she was entitled to. She knew she was entitled to a home care package, but she didn’t know how to even start because the information was too overwhelming for her to digest and make sense of.

There is a desperate need for a complete overhaul of My Aged Care system, to better support and enhance the lives of elderly Australians trying to access assistance. We’ve written to Federal Minister for Aged Care and Senior Citizens Richard Colbeck to request urgent consideration of this matter.

 We’re asking the Federal Government to consider providing additional funding to allow providers to be able to facilitate access to My Aged Care through face-to-face consultations so that we can assist people in understanding and navigating how the My Aged Care process works.

In the meantime, Everglow Community Care has reached out to the Townsville University Hospital’s Discharge Service in the hope of initiating new avenues to better equip North Queensland’s elderly population with the right support to access My Aged Care services when they leave hospital.

Everglow Community Care is keen to work closely with health care providers to deliver a better quality of information and service around helping our elderly people to access My Aged Care without the stress they’re currently feeling.

Simply handing an elderly person a brochure and telling them to logon to the government website isn’t offering the level of support that is truly required. People need face-to-face contact where

someone can help them and their families to assess all options available to them, the costs and fees of each provider and how each package stacks up against their needs.

If we can get the “starting point” of the aged care journey right, we’ll be able to enhance the quality of life for all.

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