How Carers ACT Can Help You
1. Explaining ‘My Aged Care’ System
We can guide you through the system and advise you on how to get the most out of it – for both yourself and the person you care for. Remember, that if you’re 65+ (50+ if you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) you could be eligible for My Aged Care support as well.
2. Taking a Break from Caring
We can organise for you to have a short break from your caring role. You can take a break in many different ways depending on what helps you to relax and de-stress.
Here are some suggestions (you can find more detailed information on our page Assisting Carers to Take a Break):
- Help with routine jobs – Let someone else look after your regular tasks like transport to and from medical appointments, gardening, cooking, cleaning, personal care and welfare checks.
- Special goods and equipment – We can help you purchase mobility, communication or technology aids that will help your family member remain more independent at home and reduce their reliance on you. We can also arrange for an occupational therapist to do a free one-off home safety assessment. (Phone us on 02 6296 9922).
- Group activities – Attend one of our social,wellbeing or educational activities for carers.
- Deakin Cottage respite – We can book in your family member for short day or overnight stays in our welcoming ‘home-away-from-home’ Deakin Cottage for those with dementia or ageing.
- Emergency respite – We can also arrange emergency respite if something unexpected happens.
3. Coordinating a Home Care Package
Did you know that we can coordinate a home care package for your family member and be your one point of contact, saving you much time and stress? A home care package provides you with one of four levels of government funding to meet different care needs (eg Level 1 for basic care needs gives you approx $8,000 a year to Level 4 for high-level care needs gives you approx $49,500 a year).
What does a package cover? – A home care package allows the person you care for to stay at home longer and takes some of the caring load off you.It includes services such as personal care, assistance with meal preparation, continence management, mobility aids, nursing and therapy services and transport. It can’t be used to cover day-to-day bills, food, mortgage payments or rent. Read more
What we can do – Carers ACT can care coordinate a home care package for you, book the service providers of your choice, link you to our care planners and provide you with monthly statements so you know how much of your plan you’ve spent to date.
No lock in or exit fees – As an independent provider we give you the flexibility to choose and change your own service providers. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t be locked in with someone you don’t want or have to pay exit fees when changing providers. In fact, you can use 85% of your package directly for your chosen goods and services. For more info call 6296 9914 or email email@example.com
Note: As we are just building up this new service, our ability to take on your package will depend on our available resources.
4. Building Your Knowledge & Skills
Expand your aged care knowledge and skills with our wide range of workshops such as palliative care, wills and power of attorney, dementia care, budgeting, back care, first aid, nutrition for seniors, understanding loss and grief and advanced care planning.
These workshops are available to all carers who are registered with us (register online here).
The Carer Gateway website also has a range of self-guided carer coaching modules and a set of education skills courses to help build knowledge and skills to help you in your caring role.
5. Improving Your Social and Peer Connections
Many carers experience loneliness and social isolation because of their caring role. We can help you to stay connected to others through:
- Online Carers Forum – Caring for a loved one can bring joy but some days it can be lonely or a little bit confusing. The online Carer Forum provides a safe, anonymous space to connect with other carers and support each other.Register to join and be part of a supportive community with other carers. Share stories and advice and learn from each other in a safe space.
- Support Groups – Share experiences and knowledge with other carers who understand the challenges of caring. We have many support groups to choose from, including several multicultural ones.
6. Improving Your Wellbeing
- De-stress with one of our many therapeutic activities: weekly yoga, meditation or t’ai chi classes; art and writing therapy; photography, wellness workshops and more.
- Talk face-to-face with our friendly professional counsellors who can provide strategies to get you back on track. If you prefer phone-based counselling,try the free Carer Gateway Counselling Service for carers. Each weekday, from 8am to 6pm, professional counsellors are waiting to talk through the concerns you have and how you feel about your carer role. To use the service, simply select ‘Request a Callback’, fill in your details and someone will call you back within one business day. You can also call 1800 422 737 and Select Option 1.
- Explore online self-guided carer coaching sessions on the Carer Gateway website. You can reflect on how you are going, how you’d like things to be, and how you might take steps towards making that happen. Each session includes evidence supported information, practical tips, resources, reflection activities and stories from real Australian carers.
7. Advocating for Your Rights
Our Carer Advocacy Service can assist ACT carers to resolve complex matters when negotiating the aged-care system and can give you advice and support on speaking up for yourself.
New Charter of Aged Care Rights
From 1 July 2019 a new Charter of Aged Care Rights is being introduced by the Federal Government to make it easier for consumers, their families and carers to understand what they can expect from an aged care service. All providers must give consumers a signed copy of this new Charter (consumers don’t need to sign it themselves though to still receive the service).
Links to Other Supports
Carer Gateway is a national service funded by the Australian Government that provides website resources and phone service for carers to access practical information and support. It should be the first port of call for carers looking for information or services.
My Aged Care is a very useful website with a range of resources and information for carers of someone who is ageing.
Older Persons Advocacy Network provides information about aged care service provision and the rights and responsibilities of consumers of Commonwealth funded aged care services, their carers, family members, service providers and members of the public.
Council of the Ageing (ACT) COTA is the peak organisation for all issues relating to seniors, those of mature age and their families.
Aged Care Online Directory is an online directory of residential aged care homes and home care services and includes practical resources to understanding aged care.
Care Page shares reviews and ratings from real people’s experiences of aged care facilities.
Continence Foundation of Australia caring for someone with incontinence.
The Healthy Ageing Hub has been designed to give easy access to the latest information and resources about healthy ageing. It is based on a scientific review of up-to-date evidence conducted by the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University.