Community services unite to help people access aged care

Six community services in Victoria have joined the Aged Care Systems Navigator, a 15-month national trial led by Council of the Ageing (COTA) Australia and funded by the Australian Government, that will develop and test different models to support people to understand and engage with the aged care system. The national trial is a timely announcement with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hearing evidence around the challenges older people experiencing in trying to find their way around a complex aged care system.

The project will consist of 62 trials delivered across the country to a range of different people, including vulnerable older Australians and those facing barriers accessing aged care.

In Victoria, there will be six information hubs, three community hubs and a specialist worker, in metropolitan Melbourne and in rural and regional areas, to assist people to navigate the aged care system.

"We know that the aged care system is complex and difficult to navigate.  Many older people are falling through the gaps, especially if they live in a rural or regional area, speak a language other than English, are living in insecure housing, or have no access to the internet.  We are looking forward to working with our partners to assist older Victorians to get the help they need,” said Ronda Held, CEO, COTA Victoria.

"The issues around older people struggling with aged care services accessibility has already been raised at The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety so it is imperative that we develop and deliver a suite of varied models to help older people access and navigate the aged care system.”
"The Aged Care Navigator offerings will include vital peer support, face to face support, outreach and the distribution of vital tailored information including the promotion of healthy ageing. Ronda said.

COTA Victoria will run a telephone call back service, utilizing volunteers to call back people needing assistance with navigating aged care. It will work with Southern Migrant Resource Centre to develop a CALD-specific hub in the city of Greater Dandenong. In addition, it will work in the area of Casey Cardinia with existing OM:NI (Older Men: New Ideas) groups and Outlook Community Centre in Pakenham.

HAAG will provide information, advice, and support (both in English and languages other than English) on the aged care system to people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Elder Rights Advocacy will have a part-time specialist support worker, working with COTA Vic and HAAG to deliver one-on-one specialist advice.

Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council will pilot a dedicated CALD information hub in Mildura, Swan Hill and across the border into NSW.

Northeast Health Wangaratta will have a community hub to deliver information in partnership with the Rural City of Wangaratta and Gateway Health.

Interview opportunities:

•    Ronda Held – CEO, COTA Victoria  Mob: 0450 785 437
•    Older people with personal experience of navigating the aged care system are available for interviews on request
•    Volunteers who will assist in the community and information hubs

Event details

When:    Wednesday 3rd April at 10:30am
Where:    COTA Victoria, Level 4, 533 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne