Media Release

Industry must gear up as 70,000 older people choose their own care

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What: Launch - Home Care Today
When: Wednesday 10 September, 11am
Where: Partridge House, 38 Partridge St Glenelg
Who: Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield, COTA Australia CE Ian Yates AM, ACH Group CEO Dr Mike Rungie and Consumer advocate Dr Ron Sinclair

Older people are progressively being given the right to choose what sort of aged care they receive and how they receive it, with over 70,000 home care package moving to a new system of Consumer Directed Care in less than nine months.

Home Care Today is a combination of online resources and face to face training for older people and aged care providers. Launching it today with Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield, COTA CE Ian Yates said he was excited about the direction in which aged care is heading.

"There is a huge shift in the way aged care is going to be managed into the future which gives older people more choice, more flexibility and improved services," Mr Yates said.

"This will be life-changing for tens of thousands of Australian seniors who until now have had little say over the sort of support they receive and the terms on which it is provided.

"People might choose to have more respite for their family, or someone to look after their yard. These small things can mean the difference between staying in their home or being forced into residential accommodation.

"Already over 6,000 older Australians are enjoying the benefits of Consumer Directed Care as it was introduced by the Federal Government last year, and another 6,000 will get to do so this year.

"By 1 July 2015 all home care packages must be provided on a consumer directed basis, which means around 70,000 Australians will have a greater say over their care. This will be a big adjustment for both older people and service providers as we transition to these new arrangements.

"Some aged care providers have already embraced the change while others still have a long way to go -which is why COTA has launched Home Care Today."

Mr Yates said Home Care Today is already providing support through COTA's pilots of a peer education program for older people and training workshops for service providers.

"The project is distributing 50,000 information booklets to older Australians and is rolling out 435 peer education sessions so older people and their families understand the benefits of these changes. A comprehensive website has also been created.

"The program also trains aged care providers and COTA is encouraging them to work closely with their consumers so they get a better understanding for what older people from their service provision."

Mr Yates said Home Care Today is funded by the Federal Government and delivered by COTA Australia in collaboration with provider and consumer peak bodies.

Home Care Today can be found at http://homecaretoday.org.au

Download a copy of the media release

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774

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