Aged care services to expand

dementia-friendly communities: older hand held by younger hands

My Aged Care is set to be streamlined and a further $60 million will go into dementia care and aged care services

New policies and processes have been implemented to simplify life for consumers – particularly older people with diverse needs – and health professionals who use My Aged Care.

The government describes My Aged Care, which comprises a website and contact centre, as a “one-stop shop” for aged care support.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt says one of the most important changes to My Aged Care is clarification of who can speak on a consumer’s behalf, and under what circumstances.

“If a person is capable of consenting to someone speaking and acting on their behalf in My Aged Care, he or she now has greater flexibility in appointing a regular representative, and who that person can be,” Minister Wyatt says.

Consumers with diverse needs who cannot engage with My Aged Care over the phone and do not have a representative can now be referred by a third party directly for an assessment.

“Health professionals will also benefit as they will be able to follow up on their patient’s progress when they call the My Aged Care contact centre,” Minister Wyatt says.

The Federal Government has also released $34 million in funding grants for 42 projects with a focus on six priority areas, to support innovation in dementia care and other aged care services.

The successful projects will receive funding through to 30 June 2019. For grant details see the Department of Health Tenders and Grants webpage.

The six priority areas include:

  • Support for existing and emerging challenges in dementia;
  • Better support for services targeting people from diverse backgrounds;
  • Developments that support innovation in aged care;
  • Activities that focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and
  • Adaptive technology projects so consumers can stay in their own home.

A further $25.7 million is going to the National Aged Care Advocacy Program to be delivered by the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), which provides support and guidance for seniors.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt says OPAN would receive $25.7 million over the next three years to supply wide-ranging advocacy services.

He says the government is committed to helping older Australians, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

“With consumers now more involved in making decisions, I understand the important role strong advocacy can play, especially when people may find it difficult to express themselves.

“Through its extensive national presence, OPAN will ensure strong advocacy services continue.”

You can call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays. The My Aged Care contact centre is closed on Sundays and national public holidays. Visit the website for more info.

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