Care finder services to help older people navigate the aged care system

Status
Active

$15,170,412 (ex. GST)

Funding Amount

1 January 2023 to 30 June 2025

Duration

Whole region

Locations

Overview

A care finder supporting an older person using a laptop to navigate potential aged care services.The aged care system is complex, with some people finding it more difficult than others to navigate and access the services they need. While My Aged Care is the starting point to find out about and access aged care services, there have long been calls for more localised and face-to-face support.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended the creation of a dedicated workforce to support people who require intensive support to navigate and access aged care. The care finder program was announced in the Australian Government’s 2021–22 Budget as part of the Connecting senior Australians to aged care services measure. It is one of the first aged care programs to be delivered through Primary Health Networks (PHNs).

In line with the Care Finder Policy Guidance provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has commissioned care finder services in its region.

8 providers were identified through a thorough commissioning process:

  • The three successful tenderers are IPC Health, Darebin City Council (in partnership with Moonee Valley and Merri-bek City Councils), and Wintringham. They will focus on connecting with older people who have significant difficulty accessing services and are at risk of missing out on the care they need. They will provide services tailored to the needs of local priority populations, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disability, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. These groups were identified through a needs assessment that informed the commissioning process.
  • cohealth, VincentCare, Housing for the Aged Action Group, Merri Outreach Support Service and Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre are also joining the care finder network. These organisations previously supported older people through the Assistance with Care and Housing initiative. They will focus on assisting older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Service providers will establish, deliver and maintain a network to provide specialist and intensive assistance to support people within the target population. The program will connect and engage older people who have significant difficulty accessing aged care services and are at risk of “falling through the cracks”.

This will include:

  • supporting older people to understand, access aged care and connect with other relevant supports in the community
  • specifically assisting people within the target population to access My Aged Care
  • transitioning existing Assistance with Care and Housing service providers to deliver the care finder program.

 Visit the My Aged Care website for contact details of all organisations providing care finder services.

Expected outcomes

Care finder programs will seek to improve outcomes for older adults identified as the target population. Anticipated outcomes include:

  • improved coordination of support for older adults when seeking to access aged care services
  • increased understanding of aged care services and how to access them
  • greater willingness among older adults to engage with the aged care system
  • increased workforce capability to meet client needs
  • increased rates of access to aged care services and connections with other relevant supports
  • improved rates of older adults staying connected to the services they need.