In response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) is establishing a care finder program on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. It will provide face-to-face support to help people navigate, better understand and access the sometimes complex aged care and other relevant services and supports in the community.
EMPHN has local knowledge of community needs and will commission care finder organisations to complement – not duplicate – My Aged Care. There will be a specific focus on older adults who might otherwise fall through the cracks. This local approach will ensure care finder services are tailored to support the specific needs of older adults in Melbourne’s centre, north and west.
Care finder services recognise that some older adults find it challenging to navigate My Aged Care, and may need intensive support to access services. Reasons for this may include:
- isolation or absence of a support person who can act with an individual’s informed consent
- communication barriers, including limited English language or literacy skills
- difficulty processing information to make decisions
- resistance to engage with aged care, for reasons including safety or crisis, including current or possible future homelessness
- reluctance to engage with government and institutions due to past discrimination or trauma, such as people identifying as LGBTIQ+ or those who experienced childhood in an institutional environment.
Upcoming tender process
EMPHN will soon conduct an open tender process to establish a care finder network in the region. As part of this, EMPHN is completing a needs assessment involving significant consultation and input from a range of stakeholders.
There are numerous organisations in the EMPHN region providing support under the Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) program, which is currently funded under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). EMPHN is engaging with these providers to support their transition to care finder services. (This excludes hoarding and squalor services, which will remain funded by the CHSP.)
How to stay up to date
Organisations can register their interest in the upcoming open tender process through EMPHN’s online portal eProcure. More information on the commissioning process is available on our website.
For further information relating to the care finder program, email firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries.