IF you need aged care, your first port of call is myagedcare on 1800 200 422.
You can’t get around this government agency, whether you need home care or a nursing home.
myagedcare organises an assessment of your needs and determines what type and how much aged care you will receive.
The problem with myagedcare is that it is captive to its own bureaucratic processes.
Here’s a real-life example.
A 98-year-old woman lived alone in a retirement village. She paid a cleaner privately for many years to clean her place every week. But the time came that the cleaner moved away, leaving her without domestic help. She didn’t know anybody else who could take her private cleaner’s place.
So, she rang myagedcare.
myagedcare responded by promising that somebody would visit her to carry out an assessment “within four weeks”. myagedcare did not specify how long it would take for the assessment result to be approved.
It is not reasonable, of course, to expect same-day service.
But isn’t it obvious that if somebody who is 98 rings up requesting the absolute minimum and lowest-level home care in the form of a one-hour domestic cleaning service, that this person needs to be helped straight away?
Do you really need a formal assessment at all to work out that, yes, somebody who is 98 and lives by themselves and asks for the absolute minimum of assistance needs that assistance?
CPSA contacted a home care provider in this lady’s area to ask if they could take her on at short notice.
No, was the answer.
Until her funding was fixed up, they couldn’t.
In the end, CPSA found this lady some contact numbers for local cleaning services with good customer reviews. One of them may fill the gap left by myagedcare for however long it takes for myagedcare to do its job.
At commercial rates.
You could say that aged care has bigger problems than this at the moment, and that is true.
But the point is that if the first-contact aged care agency can’t get a 98-year-old person a cleaner for one hour a week at short notice, what hope is there for the aged care system to be solving all those bigger problems?
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