Time to share your aged care experience

COTA and Macquarie University invite seniors to have their say

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Australians are being invited to share their lived experiences of aged care with focus groups and survey.


Australian seniors are being invited to share their lived experiences of aged care.

The Council on the Ageing (COTA) wants to hear about your experiences - good and bad - at the interface between aged care and the health systems.

It is running a series of forums over the next couple of weeks around the country as part of a government project being run for the Department of Health with NOUS Consulting Group.

The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the needs, experiences and gaps that exist for older Australians in gaining timely access to services, especially in respect to moving between aged care and health settings.

"We are interested in hearing from older Australians, as well as their families and informal carers," said COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates.

"To ensure the project's findings are representative, we need to hear from a good cross section of people, including people who have different health needs and/or experiencing different living/care arrangements."

A sample of older people and their families and carers will be selected to participate in a focus group.

"We want to make sure the Department hears a diversity of views and experiences, so we'll ask you to register your interest and then we'll come back to confirm your involvement," said Mr Yates.

Each focus group will comprise up to 10-15 participants.The first session will be held on March 17 with a second session in mid-May for participants who attended the first session.People who attend both sessions will receive a voucher.

Reimbursement for mileage or public transport is available for all focus group participants. The groups will be co-facilitated by COTA and NOUS Group.

COTA will also be running an online survey, due to be up and running by mid April, which will involve answering multiple-choice type questions with extra space provided for more detailed answers and comments.

Financial insights

Meanwhile Macquarie University is looking for insights into how to improve financial decision making when it comes to choosing aged care.

Choosing how to pay for aged care accommodation can be confusing and complicated. The Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy (MUCHE) is undertaking a study to help people choose aged care accommodation in the future.

Researchers are seeking people to fill in an online survey to find out about their experiences, and the factors they considered when paying for accommodation in an aged care home.

To be eligible you need to be fluent in English and have been involved with deciding on an accommodation payment in 2019. Residents whose accommodation payment is fully funded by the government are not eligible to participate in the survey.

The Macquarie University survey should take about 30 minutes and once you've completed it you will be eligible to enter a draw to win one of 20 WISH eGift cards worth $100 each.

If you have any questions about the survey phone Dr Joanne Epp on(02) 9850 1871or email joanne.epp@mq.edu.au

COTA focus group dates:


Date: March 17, 1pm-3.30pm

Venue: Sydney CBD

Apply to participate no later than: March 13


Date: March 24, 12.30-3.30pm

Venue: Brisbane CBD

Apply to participate no later than: March 20


Date: March 26, 12.30-3pm

Venue: Perth CBD

Apply to participate no later than: March 23


Date: March 27

Time: 1-3.30pm

Venue: Brisbane CBD

Apply to participate no later than: March 24

If you're interested in taking part in a focus group fill in the form HERE. If you have questions about the focus groups and online survey phone Mary Swift on (03) 9909 7916 or email at mswift@cota.org.au