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CHSP assessment services participate in $29m reablement trial


Five regional CHSP assessment organisations will take part in a $29 million reablement trial designed to help older Australians remain in their homes.

Reablement services are short-term, early intervention measures designed to improve functional independence, social participation and quality of life.

The model was pioneered in WA in 2016 by  Access Care Network Australia and parent company Silver Chain, which developed training materials and embedded the reablement approach into regional assessment services for HACC clients.

A subsequent trial showed clients improved their functional capacity and were able to maintain or improve their independence with no or fewer funded services.

The trial was so successful that it became standard practice for new HACC clients in WA, sparking government interest in incorporating it into the national My Aged Care System.

The current trial, announced by aged care minister Ken Wyatt last Friday, will provide up to $5 million for CHSP providers at selected sites and will run until June 2020.

“Research shows that focusing on an individual’s strengths and goals helps sustain their independence and can reduce and delay the need for more complex support, including residential care,” Mr Wyatt said.

As part of the trial participants will undergo an “active assessment” and complete a six to eight week reablement program based on individual goals.

Clients will receive special CHSP services including greater access to basic aids, equipment and assistive technology before being referred for ongoing services.

People whose needs are considered too great will be referred directly for CHSP services.

Aspire4Life, APM Assessment Services, Care Assess, NSW Health Administration Corporation and Resthaven will trial the model in locations in Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Queensland, NSW, and South Australia.

Assessment services keen to get started

Fiona Lynch, general manager of assessment services at APM, said the service was “really keen to support any initiative that advances peoples’ independence”.

She said assessors were currently receiving hands-on training so they could identify people whose independence could be maximised using an intensive goal-orientated approach.

“It’s really the fundamental premise is about really supporting people to be well and live independently as long as possible. That’s what’s driving this,” she told Community Care Review.

Care Assess CEO Wendy Edwards said the approach marked a departure from the traditional paper-based approach to one based on showing, rather than telling.

“Traditionally the assessor goes into the client’s home and goes through a whole series of questions,” she said. “The reablement trail is taking that to another level where it’s really about observation.

“By doing that they can make recommendations then and there, it might be some simple things that means a person can continue to be independent and not need a service.”

Resthaven Executive Manager Community Services, Sue McKechnie said Resthaven, which will delver the assessment trial in five South Australian regions, was proud to be one of the five selected.

“Our Agedcare Alternatives Regional Assessment Service staff are currently completing the training, and are excited to get started,” she said.

More restorative care places for WA

Meanwhile,  the federal government has announced 180 transition care places across Perth saying it will help get older Australians back on their feet after a hospital stay and take pressure off the residential sector.

The federal government is contributing $33.75 million towards the additional places and the state will stump up $23.45 million in co-funding.

The extra places, making up a 12-week restorative care program, will include 60 permanent places allocated from April 1 and 40 places temporary allocations each year from July 2019-2022.

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