Navigating the aged care system could soon be easier with the introduction of more face-to-face support.
The government has committed to providing face-to-face aged care support in 325 Services Australia centres, aged care specialists in 70 additional service centres and $93.7 million to introduce a network of up to 500 local "Community Care Finders" - staff in local organisations to help vulnerable seniors who need specialist support.
The government has also released the final report of the evaluation of the Aged Care System Navigator trials, which found local, face-to-face support is highly valuable to senior Australians accessing aged care.
The trials involved COTA Australia and its partners delivering different ways of providing navigation support between October 2018 and June 2020 as well as Services Australia trialling specialist aged care financial information support.
The COTA-led trials have been extended to June 2021 due to disruption as a result of the pandemic, and while the Royal Commission's investigation into issues, including navigating aged care, was ongoing.
"We understand the difficulties senior Australians, their families and carers have faced as they make the transition to care," said Senior Australians and Aged Care Services minister, Richard Colbeck.
"The Royal Commission found that aged care required a much greater face-to-face presence to support access and utilisation, and now the Aged Care System Navigator trials evaluation supports that finding, it's a clear indicator of the way forward.
"The report also found navigator services work best when they can be locally tailored, ensuring the appropriate level of local knowledge and flexibility to meet the needs of local seniors," Minister Colbeck said.
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