There have been a number of challenges faced by Australians trying to navigate their way through aged care support. Particularly with My Aged Care, which was launched to be the Australian Government’s “one-stop shop” for aged care support.
New policies and processes have been implemented to make life easier for all consumers, particularly older people with diverse needs, and health professionals who use the My Aged Care service.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said one of the most important changes to My Aged Care was 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,” Mr Wyatt said.
In such cases where a person may not be capable of providing 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 consistent with State and Territory legislation.”
Specific consumers with diverse needs who cannot engage with My Aged Care over the phone, and who do not have a representative, can now be referred by a third party directly for an assessment.
Since the introduction of Consumer Directed Care, which promised more choice and control to the consumers who were using home care services, there have been numerous complaints about the lack of communication between the federal government and the people the services are meant to help.
However, these new changes are not only impact consumers, but professionals working in the sector too, “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”.
“This will enable them to provide continuity of care for their patients. There will be greater visibility on the progress of referrals, as health professionals work together with My Aged Care assessors in support of older people.
These changes have been made to ensure that vulnerable consumers don’t fall through the cracks, and are able to receive the assessments and aged care services they need.
“Simplifying the system will better support people through their My Aged Care journey.”
Time will tell if these improvements will help consumers overcome the challenges they may have already faced in the process of getting aged care support.