Long-awaited deadline brings latest changes to aged care

The full roll-out of CDC, the beginning of the CHSP, and the start of the My Aged Care RAS and client record were among the reform milestones that officially came into effect this week.

Carinity client Margaret Capkin with Linda Rothstein
Carinity client Margaret Capkin with carer Linda Rothstein

The full roll-out of consumer directed care, the beginning of the Commonwealth Home Support Program, and the start of the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service and client record.

These were among the reform milestones that officially came into effect this week with the long-awaited 1 July deadline.

For many aged care providers the official switch to CDC across home care packages comes after years of participation in pilot programs in preparation. However, recognising that not all providers were ready, the government last week provided last-minute transition assistance for the sector.

Aged care provider Carinity, which was part of the national trial of CDC, said that many organisations had learned from both overseas models and the pilots in Australia.

The provider’s home care manager Robyn Jones said the focus under CDC was on the consumer and supporting them to maintain their independence and achieve their aspirations through a range of flexible activities.

Carinity consumer Margaret Capkin said she found the flexibility of what the carers could do allowed her more freedom to do the things she enjoyed. “I love music and I sing in a choir however due to my balance issues I can’t leave the house alone. The lifestyle carer assists me with cooking and shopping as well as taking me out for social activities,” Ms Capkin said.

Theodore Sabatini, assisted by Resthaven Western Community Services Manager,  Franco Parenti, to use the ‘Ciao’ Appl
Theodore Sabatini, Resthaven client, with manager Franco Parenti, using the Ciao app

Overcoming challenges

For Resthaven Western Community Services, where a third of its 107 home care package clients are from a CALD background, language barriers made the implementation of CDC more complex.

“The complex CDC terminology was difficult to translate,” said manager Franco Parenti. “For example, the word ‘budget,’ has no equivalent Italian translation. To address this, staff engaged client advocates, and professional interpreters, wherever possible.”

Despite the challenges, all of Resthaven’s clients are now receiving home care packages under CDC, the provider said.

Resthaven also said it was proactive in breaking down the barriers created by language difficulties by being involved in the launch of the free Ciao Italian translation app, which provides common words and phrases, images, pronunciation tips and sound files.

New teams in place

Elsewhere, Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH), which this week confirmed its new name following the merger of the two organisations, said it had put in place a team of 25 care advisers and care support officers to work with the consumer to develop a plan that would ensure they continued living at home.

Andrew Webb, a VMCH client, said that the thought of losing control was often fear provoking for older people, but he felt he had more input now under CDC. “It’s empowering and makes me feel like I’m not just a recipient (of care), but rather a participant,” he said.

Reform milestones: As of 1 July…

  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) now provides entry-level aged care home support services, bringing together Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC), planned respite from the National Respite for Carers Program, Day Therapy Centres and Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged
  • The final versions of the CHSP Manual, CHSP Guidelines and Living well at home: CHSP Good Practice Guide are now available on the DSS website 
  • All home care packages now to be delivered on a CDC basis
  • Changes to My Aged Care including the introduction of a client record, the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS) conducting face-to-face assessments for entry to CHSP, a nationally consistent screening and assessment process, and the ability for providers to manage information about their services via the My Aged Care provider portal.
  • My Aged Care has also been added to the myGov portal for government services including Medicare and the ATO
  • The residential care subsidy is no longer paid to an approved aged care provider on behalf of a resident who is on pre-entry leave
  • Places under the new short-term restorative care program are now included in the aged care provision ratio
  • Schedules for residential and home care fees, charges and supplements have been updated in line with changes to the basic age pension and indexation rates. The Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR) also changed effective 1 July

And what hasn’t happened…

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Tags: cald, carinity, cdc, commonwealth-home-support-program, Franco Parenti, my-aged-care, Regional Assessment Service, resthaven, Robyn Jones,

1 thought on “Long-awaited deadline brings latest changes to aged care

  1. CDC as a concept is wonderful. For ‘clients’ forget ‘consumers’ to maximise this opportunity and to more fully participate, engage & feel in control of their care needs, providers will need to take on a generalist approach and not just limit client choice to what the provider can do themselves. Outsourcing components of care to specialist, allied care providers is what will really make the difference.

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