With Care Finder being a new program, a large focus of our team has been around assertive outreach. Our aim is to promote the service and to develop relationships and partnerships within community as to be able to reach the Care Finder target group: vulnerable older people who are isolated or have no supports.
Following a presentation to an Aged Care Assessment Team, COTA Victoria received a referral from an assessment clinician for Care Finder support to be provided. Although information provided about Francis’s eligibility was limited, the ACAS assessment clinician felt he would benefit from support to navigate the aged care service system and engage services. Francis had provided consent for the assessment clinician to refer to Care Finder. No information about My Aged Care approvals or current services were provided.
COTA Victoria called Francis to advise of their service offering and to try and determine eligibility. Francis advised that his daughter, although living locally, has limited contact with him and he didn’t feel comfortable asking her for assistance. It was at his daughter’s recommendation that he sell his house and move into current flat which he is not happy about.
Care Finder agreed to visit to Francis in his home to help go through all his My Aged Care paperwork to determine what approvals he currently had and what he may be waiting for. On visiting Francis, he was very anxious, felt overwhelmed but appreciative of any support Care Finder could provide him. By going through his My Aged Care paperwork and calling My Aged Care to clarify what support he was currently receiving, and establish a plan moving forward.
Francis is currently in receipt of CHSP services including domestic assistance and shopping assistance. Francis also has a MEPACS personal alarm. In liaising with My Aged Care, it was discovered that Francis has additional approvals which he was not accessing, including a pending Home Care Package Level 3 (HCP3) which was to be assigned in 3-6 months, and a continence assessment.
Together, we had a lengthy discussion on how the community care system works and where Francis currently fits within the system. Care Finder explained that he is currently getting support via the entry level Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and that he has now been assessed for HCP3 and is waiting for a package to be assigned (3-6 month wait).
Care Finder discussed that when the HCP3 is assigned he will need to choose a provider that will start receiving the HCP3 subsidy and this provider be able to monitor and review his support needs, plan with him, and coordinate his supports and services. Care Finder discussed what HCP3 funds can and can’t be used for.
Francis was happy to hear that his CHSP provider is also a HCP3 provider as he would like to be able to continue using his support workers for Domestic Assistance and Shopping. Francis is a self-funded retiree but has limited income. Care Finder explained income tested fees and that as a self-funded retiree he will need to complete an income assessment as so Services Australia can determine what if any income tested fee he is required to contribute. As he is drawing down on capital, Care Finder felt that it is unlikely that he would need to pay much if anything at all and he may be eligible for a part pension (aged pension).
- Care Finder emailed Service Australia’s income assessment to Francis’s financial adviser to help compile evidence of Francis’s income. Care Finder also agreed to call financial adviser who raised concerns (in confidence) that daughter may have financially abused Francis in the past. Care Finder supported Francis to complete income assessment and dependent on the outcome of assessment may support Francis to apply for a part-pension. Care Finder will also explore further financial abuse with Francis and refer to Seniors Rights Victoria who can support with elder abuse victims should Francis consent and want support.
- Continence Nurse: Care Finder contacted previous continence nurse who had been involved with Francis and requested a reassessment given his change in needs and to check his eligibility for Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS funding).
- Social Engagement Opportunities: Although Francis not looking to explore now, he agreed for Care Finder to pass on any opportunities that Care Finder is aware of and that may be appropriate for Francis.
- HCP3: When package is assigned Care Finder will assist Francis to find a provider which will be able to meet his needs. Francis is interested in using funding to replicate/fund current CHSP supports. He is also interested in exploring delivered meals (Lite N’ Easy) and an updated personal alarm and transport (taxis) to access the community and appointments.
- Care Finder to continue to update referrer on work undertaken and outcomes as to promote service and encourage more referrals. Initial feedback to referrer was very well received as they often do not hear about any outcomes post a referral to a service.
Although Care Finder continues to work with Francis, the engagement to date has produced positive outcomes.
Initially, Francis did not look like a suitable referral to the Care Finder program. The fact there was a daughter living locally suggested he may have someone to support him and may not be eligible. The Care Finder inquired further about the capacity of the daughter to assist and how comfortable Francis was to ask for their help. As he was not comfortable to seek help, it was determined he was eligible for Care Finder support.
Through the process of supporting him to complete an income assessment, there was a disclosure from his financial adviser that there may be some history of financial abuse from the daughter. With this knowledge, the Care Finder will continue to build report and trust with Francis and will explore further, providing appropriate information and support to ensure he is protected from future financial abuse.
The Care Finder was able to support Francis to understand how the aged care system worked, where he fits within it currently and was able to help him to make informed decisions as to access eligible supports and services. The Care Finder will have capacity to support Francis when the HCP3 is assigned.
Care Finders support vulnerable older people who would not be able to arrange services without with intensive support and who do not have a family member or friends who can help.
Care Finder services are free as they are fully funded through Primary Health Networks to provide you with personalised, independent information and guidance so that you can access the right aged care services for you.
Please note that our team of Care Finders assist primarily those residing in the South East Melbourne Primary Health Network, with a focus on the City of Kingston; if you live outside this area, click here to find a Care Finder organisation local to you.
*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of our clients.