SIMPLIFYING who can speak for an elderly person seeking help from My Aged Care is one of the recent changes to the one-stop aged care support service.
My Aged Care offers a website and phone line with information on in-home services and residential aged care.
“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,” said Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt.
“In cases where a person may not be capable of providing such consent, the consumer will need to have an authorised representative appointed for them.
“The legal documents needed to establish an authorised representative, and the nature of decisions made in My Aged Care, have now been streamlined to make them more consistent with state and territory legislation.”
Mr Wyatt said people with diverse needs who could not engage with My Aged Care over the phone, and who did not have a representative, could now be referred by a third party for an assessment.
He said health professionals would also be able to follow up on their patient’s progress when they call the contact centre, providing continuity of care.
- 1800-200-422, www.myagedcare.gov.au
Advocates there to help
A SHAKE-UP of the aged care advocacy sector has seen one organisation awarded $25.7 million over three years to deliver a new national service.
The Older Persons Advocacy Network comprises nine state and territory organisations that provide independent, free advocacy help to older people experiencing issues with in-home or residential aged care, as well as information and education services.
Advocates can help people engage with the aged care system as well as transition between aged care services, make informed decisions and exercise choice, have their rights better understood and upheld, resolve problems or complaints with providers, and address issues that impact their ability to live in their own homes.
The funding will allow OPAN to increase its regional presence from 21 to 28 sites over the next two years.
“We want older Australians to be armed with the right knowledge, support and resources so they can better protect themselves, and can live actively and happily in their later years,” said chairman Craig Gear.
“Last year alone, we provided direct individual advocacy support to more than 9000 people, provided information to 21,000 consumers and family members and delivered education sessions to more than 42,000 people.”
To contact OPAN:
- NSW - Seniors Rights Service 1800-424-079
- ACT - ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (02) 6242-5060
- Tasmania - Advocacy Tasmania (03) 6224-2240
- WA - Advocare (08) 9479-7566
- Queensland - Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia 1800-818-338
- SA - Aged Rights Advocacy Service (08) 8232-5377
- Victoria - Elder Rights Advocacy (03) 9602-3066