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Living independently at home and in the community

With Australia’s population expected to age exponentially over the coming decades, the care of our elderly and people living with a disability is a growing priority, not only at a political and community level, but on a personal level for an increasing number of Australians.

–          The proportion of Australians aged over 65 is set to grow from 14 per cent to 22 per cent by 2061.[i]
–          Just under one in five Australians experience a disability.[ii]
–          As our population ages, the proportion of people with a severe and profound disability is also expected to increase.[iii]
–          2.7 million Australians provide informal care to an older person or someone with a disability or long-term health condition.[iv]

Reflective of these macro drivers, the way that we deliver aged and disability care in Australia is undergoing significant change. The implementation of Consumer Directed Care (CDC) in aged care in July 2015 and the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) both place greater control over services and funding in the hands of those receiving care – the individuals themselves.

Choice can be empowering, but it can also be confronting, particularly for those who may be vulnerable and undergoing significant life adjustments, while negotiating a complex health system.

As a not-for-profit with 20 years’ experience, Care Connect is able to provide independent comment on options that can support people and their carers to live independently at home, for longer.

Care Connect can provide insight on the following topics:

Ageing

–          The changing needs of ageing Baby Boomers, their focus on living independently at home and the challenges this brings to themselves, their families and the sector.
–          Support for seniors living independently at home – including government-funded and self-funded options.
–          Caring for ageing parents whilst children are still living at home – the challenges facing the “Sandwich Generation”.
–          Elder abuse – reducing the risks seniors can face.
–          The hurdles seniors and their carers face as they prepare to take greater control of their care.

Disability

–          Are people living with a disability and their carers prepared to take greater control of their care? What training and support will make for the optimal transition?

Technology and care

–          Using the internet to reduce social isolation among seniors, people living with a disability or mental health issue or those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Social issues

–          With the move towards individualised funding, what is person-centred and/or Consumer Directed Care, and how can it empower people to build choice and control in their lives?
–          The economic challenges facing social services – will seniors be prepared and able to fund a greater share of their retirement than past seniors have?
–          “Funding silos” – the challenges and possibilities of supporting people with problems that may not fit neatly into funding categories such as mental health, disability or ageing.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

–          The complexities and sensitivities faced by service providers in supporting Elders in the Community.

Other

–          Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, issues facing families and children, and support available.
–          Supporting refugees and humanitarian entrants with complex needs to settle well into Australia.

About The Author

Care Connect is one of Australia’s largest, not-for-profit secular community care providers. We support people in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria to live independently at home and in the community.

For 20 years we’ve provided information, advice and guidance to help people access support to live the life they want. Our award-winning staff specialise in coordinating services for people of all ages and abilities from young children, to older adults. We provide services, including complex care, related to: aged care, disability, mental health and carer support.

We have particular experience in providing inclusive services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, people who are financially and/or socially disadvantaged and veterans.