Leading blindness and low vision service provider Vision Australia has called on the Australian Government to adopt the recommendations made by a review into the aged care system.
Carried out by David Tune AO and released this week, the Aged Care Review makes 38 recommendations. If adopted, these changes will improve aged care outcomes for older people with a disability.
Vision Australia welcomes the report, and its recommendations to make aged care more supportive for people living with a disability.
“Vision Australia is working on behalf of the 384,000 Australians living with blindness or low vision, to make essential services and community supports more responsive to the needs of people with disability. Of these people, 233,000 are aged 65 years or older, so without a properly functioning aged care system, older Australians who are blind or have low vision will be left in the dark,” Karen Knight, General Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia, said.
“We urge the Australian Government to adopt the Tune Review recommendations’” Ms Knight said.”
Highlights of the Aged Care Review include:
- Overhauling the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF), so consumers get access to proper disability services in the aged care system, rather than be referred inappropriately to the health system.
- A national approach to aids and equipment for older Australians. Commonwealth spending is minimal and state-based programs are inadequate. Older Australians deserve access to aids and equipment to support their independence, including specialised items.
- Empowerment and accessible information. A range of problems are encountered by older Australians with vision loss in trying to access information about the aged care system. For example, Home Care recipients are sent hard copy letters which they can’t read, and information brochures in standard print. This needs to be addressed immediately.
- Improve access to Specialised Services. Allowing ‘pre-qualified’ providers to deliver services to particular population groups and enabling consumers to find relevant providers will improve outcomes for all stakeholders.
- Improve information sharing between government and providers. Service providers like Vision Australia have invested in new IT systems but the full benefit cannot be realised without enabling provider and government ITplatforms to ‘talk’ to each other and reduce double handling.
Vision Australia is the nation’s leading provider of Specialised Support Services to the aged care system, and is a registered provider of Commonwealth Home Support Program, and Home Care Program services.
The Tune Review is available here: https://agedcare.health.gov.au/reform/aged-care-legislated-review
The Australian Government’s response to date is available here: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2017-wyatt092.htm