I am a service provider
CareWest Ltd., Central West Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre
Carer Gateway: Delivering a trustworthy and value for money information service will require investment in information management to ensure consistency, accuracy and currency of information.
To what extent will service mapping have been completed by the Carer Gateway as the nationally recognisable entry point for carers?
Service Delivery Model:
Paramount: that carers are able to access support and short term planned respite care to maintain social links, wellbeing and independence – rather than relying only on the ‘respite effect’ achieved when the care recipient is participating in activities (delivered under NDIA or My Aged Care). Carers must also be afforded choice and self determination, in line with the person centred approach offered to the people for whom they care. Carer rights must not be diminished.
*Regional hubs will need to be well resourced and staffed to accomplish all of the service delivery objectives across geographic and demographic areas. Multiple service delivery modalities will be needed to meet the needs of carers, particularly those in more remote areas and vulnerable cohorts – such as regional/local technology centres for free access to the on line community; cheaper mobile phone calls for carers accessing support; multi-disciplinary tele/video conferencing for remote carers
*Consistency will be required in assessment, KPIs, monitoring and reporting across the program. A reliable platform will be required for information management at regional and local levels with consistent data dictionary and protocols in place.
*Carers wishing to become peer support leaders/coaches and/or mentors will have access to respite, financial and other supports to achieve this goal.
*Definition of ‘relevant education programs’ – carers may consider a hobby course as a form of diversional therapy to be very relevant, even if not attached to an employment goal. Similarly ‘targeted financial support’ must be clearly defined. Will there be any accreditation or monitoring for RTOs and other training organisations offering ‘relevant carer education’?
*Carers are offered realistic, reasonable and affordable options to enable them to remain with or rejoin the workforce, or upskill through training programs. Where the care recipient does not engage in other activities, or has high support needs, the provision of sufficient support to enable the carer’s participation in employment (particularly full time or shift work) may be unsustainable.
*Increased education and incentives required for GPs and practice nurses to identify carers for early intervention and support.
*Resources will be required to operationalize the establishment and ongoing access to peer support groups, counselling, education, coaching and mentoring, and events across remote communities and vast distances. Where local staff are not available, access to brokerage will be required to procure services.
*Where will the residential respite booking (for aged care facilities) system be maintained – currently managed by CCRCs.
*Outcomes measurement: Carers may be more interested in participating in evaluation of supports which improve their own physical and emotional wellbeing. The carers may also wish to share the results with the GP or other health professional. Quantifiable data showing positive health outcomes for carers may encourage GPs and other professionals to identify their patients for support. It will be important to ensure carers understand what they are evaluating. Will outcomes measurement be longitudinal as well as short term?
Quality framework – considerations: Carers suffer no disadvantage under the model. Access to services is equitable and takes account of the logistics of service delivery in a variety of geographic and demographic areas; carer’s physical and mental health is improved; carer’s level of community participation is increased (including if desired, in the on line community); carer’s capacity to participate in employment is increased (or carer has opportunity to undertake study for personal growth/employment); carer is able to nourish relationships with family and friends; value for money; improved independence/participation of the care recipient; does the service contribute to capacity building in local communities? Ultimately the service delivery model should vest choice and control with the carer.
Further – the role of carers should be considered ‘real work’ and attract a level of superannuation so that those carers unable to work, are able to achieve a level of independence in retirement.