When I began this blog in 2008, my focus was basically on what was available in the United States and to a lesser extent, Canada. Now that our readers are international, I wanted to share some of what is available to seniors worldwide. I have written about some of the option for seniors as they age in the United States, Canada and England but I’ve not yet addressed what is available in Australia.
Health care in Australia is universal meaning that the federal government pays a large portion of the cost of services in public hospitals and for those services provided to seniors. For residential services that are provided to seniors, there are “income tested fees” that are, of course, calculated by the amount of income a senior receives.
Services for both elders AND their caregivers are available in Australia. I was surprised to note that 3 different programs were available for caregivers and that respite care was standard.
A senior would begin to access services by being seen by a member of an Aging Care Assessment Team or ACAT (much like a geriatric care manager in the U.S.
According to The Department of Health and Aging in Australia, “ACATs provide information on suitable care options and can help arrange access or referral to appropriate residential or community care services such as Home and Community Care (HACC). An ACAT assessment and approval is required before people can access residential aged care, Community Aged Care Packages (CACPs) or Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) Packages.”
For this article, we’re going to concentrate on Community Care. But you can be sure I’ll return to write more in depth about their Respite Care Programs (which are actually a part of Community Care) very soon.
The goal of Australia’s Community Care Program is to assist the aging population to remain safe and independent in their home and involved with their community for as long as possible thus ensuring a better quality of life.
Their services range from provisions for those who just need some domestic and personal care assistance to those who need a higher level of care in order to stay at home and also to those who suffer from dementias such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Frontal temporal lobe dementias, etc.
Additional community care services include an Day Therapy Centre Program component, assistance to those seniors living in retirement villages who need a bit of extra help in order to remain there and also a short term package that is available to those seniors who have recently been released from the hospital. There is even a component to help find assistance for financially disadvantaged older people who are renting or who are homeless so that they can access both community care and appropriate accommodations.
These appear to be impressive programs. It is no wonder that Australia ranks so high when it comes to health care provision.
image credit: DepositPhotos.com
You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, R.N., GCM, you’ll want to hop on over to www.IntentionalCaregiver.com where you can find more articles, resources, services and strategies to support caregivers of aging parents and loved ones.
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