Regardless of our age, we all need to be informed and prepared in order to make important decisions about the future. Making decisions about aged care services – whether for yourself, a family member or a friend – can be complex and confusing. It can be hard to find your way.
The journey into aged care starts with registering online with My Aged Care, or calling them on 1800 200 422. While this sounds simple enough, there are several hurdles to overcome, starting with having access to, and knowing your way around, the internet.
Once registered with My Aged Care, you need to be assessed for eligibility.
After a period of waiting, the next challenge you face is finding out what services are available in your area.
Then, you have to choose a provider. How do you inform yourself to make the best choice based on your unique needs? How do you decipher the mountain of glossy paperwork from service providers? And once you have signed up with a provider and agreed on a care plan, what happens if your needs change, or if you’re unhappy with your choice? The questions go on.
If you live in the eastern or southern suburbs of Melbourne, or in greater Bendigo, COTA Victoria’s Aged Care Navigators can help you to navigate these challenges with independent, accurate and up-to-date information. Testimonials from people who have used the service, like Glenda, show how pivotal this support can be:
Unless you know the right things to ask, you can’t find out anything. I don’t have a mobile phone or a computer; I thought I would slip through the cracks. I was quite honestly ready to give up. But Karen’s continual ongoing help and follow-ups, not telling me what to do but offering suggestions – I still have to make the phone calls, but I’ve got Karen’s encouragement and direction. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is. It’s given me a sense of achievement and confidence. I’m hopeful I can have more control over what happens.
If you live elsewhere, visit the COTA Australia website to see if there is another Aged Care Navigators project in your area.
Go to Aged Care Navigators to find out more about the program.
If you would like help from an Aged Care Navigator, call the COTA WISE information line on 1300 13 50 90 between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm weekdays.