Tony* is an eighty-four year old farmer living in regional Tasmania and is typical of many older Tasmanians who are finding the new aged-care process difficult to navigate.
Until recently Tony had been his wife’s family carer. His wife has a Home Care package through Anglicare Tasmania and rang to seek advice as she found she was increasingly caring for Tony as his health declined.
Concerned about their situation, Lee Curran, a Registered Nurse and Clinical Care Coordinator with Anglicare, made a home visit and found out that Tony had been diagnosed with short-term memory loss (STML). Lee could see that this couple were experiencing home-care stress.
Accessing the My Aged Care (MAC) website and making enquiries over the phone would have been difficult for Tony due to his STML. Lee could see he was in need of additional support so offered the assistance of Anglicare’s Mobile Linking Service to enter Tony’s information into the MAC portal online.
Tony was advised by Lee that he needed to make a follow-up phone call to MAC to activate his referral before a home support assessment by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) could occur.
Lee rang Tony a couple of weeks later to see if the RAS team had made contact, but Tony informed her that they hadn’t. With his permission, Lee rang the MAC hot-line and was informed that Tony’s file had been closed as they had called him on three occasions and been reassured that he was not in need of any support.
On a further visit, utilising Anglicare’s Mobile Linking Service, Tony was assisted to make the follow-up call and re-activate his file. Subsequently, he has had an assessment and received a letter advising he has been approved for a home-care package. Tony is now in a queue as part of the National Prioritisation Process waiting to be assigned a home-care package.
On 7 April Lee delivered a paper at the Aged Care Conference 2017, presenting an overview of consumer-directed care and in-home care. She specifically detailed the impact of the recent changes on older people as well as their care providers.
Lee drew attention to Tony’s story as “he is one of many who could be missing out on home care because of the complexity of the new home care guidelines”.
“We want older people to be properly supported to live at home. Anglicare developed the Mobile Linking Service to assist people through the new My Home Care process.
“These changes are quite complex to understand, so people are encouraged to make use of Anglicare's Mobile Linking Service by phoning 1800 466 300, especially in the early stages of transition”, said Lee. “Let us help you to navigate the way.”
*Name changed to protect identity.