Thursday 11 February 2016
More choice and control in aged care = more information needed
Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes the government’s new legislation today announcing greater consumer choice and control over their aged care services and providers.
Alzheimer’s Australia has listened to many people with dementia and is concerned that the new system will not work effectively without easy-to-access, good information being available to consumers including:
- explanations and examples of what ‘consumer directed care’ actually is
- clear descriptions of what consumers new entitlements are
- listings of the services available
- information on quality of these services, so consumers can decide what service will best meet their needs.
Alzheimer’s Australia National President Professor Graeme Samuel said, “if consumers are to make good decisions about their care, they need to be equipped with all the information first.
“We support the Minister’s recent comments suggesting a “trip advisor” type approach to service information hubs such as My Aged Care, which would ensure consumers are getting the meaningful information, from a consumer experience point of view, about the quality of the services available to them. Until this type of information is available to consumers, how can people make informed decisions?”
Alzheimer’s Australia is also concerned that in places such as regional and remote areas, where there are very limited services, choice does not exist. Supply of services needs to exceed demand, to create the conditions for choice, and to enable a real market place supporting a range of individual needs.
Alzheimer’s Australia National CEO, Carol Bennett went on to say “as we move towards the consumer directed care environment, we need to provide increased choice while identifying the unmet needs. We need to provide specialist aged care particularly for people living with dementia and cognitive impairment.
“It is difficult to navigate any health service system, but particularly if you are experiencing dementia. Choice will only exist if there is also support available to special needs groups.”
Alzheimer’s Australia looks forward to the opportunity to work with government on these new reforms to see services and relevant supports developed. There is no other way to meet the needs of consumers.
“Empowering consumers to decide what is best for them is a direction we welcome, but without being given the information they need, especially about quality, the capacity to exercise meaningful choice in aged care will continue to elude us all,” Ms Bennett concluded.
Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.
National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area