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Caring for Someone Who is Ageing

Are you looking after someone who is ageing or frail?

We can help you by guiding you through My Aged Care,  assisting you in taking a break from caring, coordinating a home care package, connecting you socially with other carers, building your aged care knowledge, maintaining your wellbeing, and advising you in planning for long-term aged care needs.


 

 

 

 

 

 

An Important First Step is to Register with My Aged Care

If you (or the person you care for) is an older person (usually 65+ or 50+ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) and finding it harder to do the things you used to do, then you may be eligible for government funded aged care services through My Aged Care.

You need to be registered with My Aged Care and have an assessor assess your care needs to find out if you are eligible.

Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to register.

See our useful notes below on the registration process or call us on 1800 052 222 and we’ll help you get registered.

Note: Even if you or the person you care for don’t need or use aged care services immediately, by being registered in the system you’ll be able to access those services more quickly when you do need them. Otherwise you will have to wait weeks.

If you’re not assessed as eligible,or are waiting for services, you can still access privately funded services at any time. Carers ACT can also provide you with short-term support.

Register also with Carers ACT

If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea for you to also register with Carers ACT so you have access to the full range of services available to you as a carer (see heading further down ‘How Carers ACT Can Help You’). It’s free. You can register online here or ring us on 1800 052 222.

 

 

 

My Aged Care – How to Register and Get Started

Call us on 1800 052 222 to help you or the person you care for get registered with My Aged Care or work through the following steps yourself:

1. Call myagedcare on 1800 200 422

2. Have a face-to-face assessment

3. Find out about costs

4. Get a referral code

5. Choose services

Don’t Have an Aged Care Package?

If the person you care for has not contacted myagedcare, or is currently waitlisted, we can offer short-term services until longer term arrangements are put in place. We also offer a range of supports for you, the carer.

Contact our friendly advisors on 1800 242 636 or explore the options below to see the ways we can assist you in your caring role.

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.
  • Home visits – Our friendly home visit volunteers can regularly visit the person you care for, providing companionship and helping them feel safe and supported, and reducing the amount of time you need to visit them yourself. (Phone 02 6296 9989 or email susanne.morton@carersact.org.au)
  • 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.
  • Residential short stay or in-home respite – We can book your family member for short stays into a residential aged care facility for a short-term stay or arrange for a professional support worker to come to your home so you can relax and do what you want.

CRCC – We are able to organise these respites for you because we are the designated Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre for ACT and Southern NSW (funded by the Australian Government). We assist carers to access services in their local area that enable them to have a break or ‘respite’.

CHSP – We are also a registered provider under the Commonwealth Home Support Program in the ACT,  so can offer services in Flexible Respite and Centre-based Respite for people living in the ACT who have a myagedcare referral.

 

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 ins 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 hcp@carersact.org.au

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).

 

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:

 

  • Seniors Social Group – our new ‘Wise and Well’ social club for 65+ carers and friends meets every Thursday morning and afternoon in Holt with a wide range of planned activities. Phone 02 6296 9900 or email us at hcp@carersact.org.au.

 

  • Social Activities – Join in our many varied social activities and meet new friends.

 

  • 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 to our friendly professional counsellors who can provide strategies to get you back on track.

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).

Read more


Resources

Check out the resources on the Information for Carers page, or visit our office in Holt and borrow a book from the “Carers Book Swap” library.


Links to Other Supports

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 provide 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.

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.

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.

 

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