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Government opens funding round ahead of advocacy shake-up

Australia’s adoption of a new national system providing advocacy for older people receiving aged care has progressed with the Commonwealth this morning releasing an updated draft framework and opening the funding round to deliver services.

With aged care moving to a market-based system where consumers pay more for their care and services in return for greater control, the issue of independent advice and advocacy for older people has become crucial.

Advocacy services work with older people and their families, particularly the more vulnerable, to help them understand their aged care options and to resolve issues or concerns.

The updated framework released today has been informed by 33 submissions from the current advocacy services, aged care organisations and older people that were provided to government during consultations in September and October last year.

But the department said there are still issues that require further consideration and consultation, “which will be done as part of the further development and finalisation of the framework.”

The development of a national framework was one of the key recommendations in the report of the review into Australia’s current advocacy services, which the government released in February last year.

That review also recommended combining the two current advocacy schemes into an integrated national program, which would be guided by the framework.

Currently the government funds advocacy services through the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

These services are delivered by nine different organisations – one in each state and the ACT and two in the Northern Territory.

Last August the nine groups told AAA they had signed an agreement to formalise their Older Persons Advocacy Network and strengthen cooperation between the services (read our story here).

The current advocacy services are funded until the end of June.

Opening the competitive funding round today, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the government would work with the successful provider or providers, and other key stakeholders, to finalise the new framework.

The tender documents show the government is open to considering a single national provider who can deliver the advocacy services nationally or one provider in each state and territory.

The Commonwealth is providing up to $25.7 million to deliver the services from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020, the documents show.

Applications for the funding round close on 31 March.

The draft framework is available here and information on the funding round can be found here

Want to have your say on this story? Comment below. Send us your news and tip-offs to editorial@australianageingagenda.com.au 

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One Response to Government opens funding round ahead of advocacy shake-up

  1. Maria Berry February 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    The need to step up and provide more advocacy services for older people is crucial. Having a National integrated service is a must, but it must be on a state to state basis so that older people who are regionally or socially isolated can tap into these services. Not everyone will ring a 1800 number, majority won’t.

    We also need to look at providing advocacy for older people who perhaps don’t have capacity (dementia for example) have no family support or genuine advocate to voice for themselves. They are a great percentage of the untapped (not known statistics) . We still have the silent generation and proud generation, they don’t sit on the computer and google or pick up the phone.

    We do have the community visitors programme that see people over 65yrs of age. But this program is not allowed to enter residential care facilities. What advocates do unless appointed ? Many of the “forgotten ” in these facilities have no advocacy at all, or even a chance at obtaining some as they are not equipped with people who will voice for them. They can’t voice for themselves.

    With the consumer driven and person centred care era…perhaps we need more training for community champions in these regional and isolated areas if funding won’t branch here. These volunteers could tap into or communicate (be the communicator) to the service professionals . There are many ideas on how we can sort to address this issue.

    My background in Aged Care Nursing and now current experience with a Parent appointed Guardianship and Advocacy the services are over 4 hrs away. The Advocacy has been and is to this day reliant on my ongoing advocacy and information supplied to themselves. This I might add has been no mean task. Phone calls have to be made during business hours…..whilst trying to work and support my own family it is very difficult.

    My Parents case manager is excellent. But he has a huge area to cover from Melbourne right through to isolated areas in regional Victoria.

    DAIS (Disability Advice Information Service) can provide advocacy for any age group. So for someone with dementia they could access this service. How many are aware of this service …also with the issue of funding to meet the growing demand of ageing population ?????

    We need awareness, availability and access. So on a national level we need to tap into every nook and cranny to provide advocacy for all older people. Not just the few that you hear from.

    If we go into Advocacy regarding financial support, that is another story, but the same scenario its acess and availability .

    We have the State Truatees and the private financial administrators, the privates have less accountability than the state trustees. The VCAT appointed private firm for my parent are not as accountable for their actions as is the State Trustees. But in saying this we need the reforms with people submitting to the Australian Commission into Law Reforms on Elder Abuse currently underway. There have been 43 proposals put for discussion in regards to elder abuse and protecting older people. Submissions close on the 27/02/17 and all public are encouraged to make a submission.

    We need more advocacy, awareness, access to these services and looking outside the box of what we are not currently supplying our most vulnerable (non – statistic) older person.

    How do we meet the need of the growing demand for Advocacy for older people when our ageing population is about to sky rocket as people live longer ? We work together ….but also start to think outside the box and look t the resources we have. We are going to be more reliant on community.

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