Many people can benefit by enhancing their quality of life, improve life expectancy and receive social benefits from accessing services that help them to live more independently in their own home and remain in the community, rather than prematurely entering a residential care facility.
They may need help for a short time until they can manage for themselves, on a more permanent basis, or they may have a family member or friend that assists them at home. In most cases, people want to stay in their own home, and the large number of community services available aims to help them do just that.
There are many services available to support carers, frail older people, younger people with a disability and people with a chronic or mental illness to remain living in their own homes, such as:
• Household chores, such as cleaning, laundry, ironing, shopping and cooking,
• Home maintenance and modification – help with maintenance and repair of a person’s house and yard to keep it in a safe and habitable condition
• Personal care – help with showering, dressing, personal grooming etc
• Support groups – meetings with others facing similar life challenges, medical conditions and mental health issues and finding people who understand exactly what you’re going through
• Respite – assistance provided to carers to allow them to have a break by providing support workers who replace what the carer normally does for the person they care for; this can be either support in the home or in a purpose built facility
• Aids and equipment – loaning, hiring or purchasing of medical aids and equipment to assist a person to maintain their independence
• Case management – a planned approach to service delivery for clients with complex and diverse needs. It represents a coordinated, consistent and individualised approach for the client and their family
• Community nursing – provides professional nursing care given by registered and enrolled nurses
• Day care centres – a non-residential facility providing activities for elderly and/or people with a disability
• Transport assistance – helping people to get to appointments, complete their shopping or banking etc.
• Outings and leisure activities – structured activities such as group outings, recreational activities to interact with peers.
• Meal services – provision of home delivered meals and other food services. May include assistance with meal preparation
• Community Aged Care Packages – a mixture of three or more of the above services that assist someone to live in their own home.
As well as many services available to help people remain at home independently, there are graduated levels of residential aged care to meet the needs of those that need a higher level of support or would like to live within an environment that provides social interaction with others their own age. Types of residential care include:
Retirement Living Units/Retirement Villages – residential communities that offer a range of services for independent older people and are regulated by state and territory governments.
Residential Aged Care respite – short stays in an aged care home to enable a Carer to have a break from their caring role or for someone who lives alone to have some time out or perhaps requiring some additional assistance for a short period of time due to illness.
Low Level Residential Aged Care – permanent living arrangement for people who do not have very complex ongoing care needs but need some help with perhaps one or more of the following: bathing, going to the toilet, eating, dressing, moving around, continence, rehabilitation support and assistance in obtaining health and therapy services.
High Level Residential Aged Care – permanent living arrangement for people who have more complex health needs requiring assistance with any or all of the assistance provided in low level care, as well as nursing services and equipment, such as equipment to assist with mobility, continence aids, basic medical and pharmaceutical supplies and equipment, helping with medications, provision of therapy services and short term oxygen.
To find out more about any of the above community services or services offered by Forster Private Hospital, there will be a Community Care Expo at Forster Private Hospital on Thursday 19 April from 10am to 2pm, with lucky door prizes and a 3 night retreat for Carers to be given away. There will be free health checks, morning tea and presentations about Mature Aged Driving, memory loss – risk reduction, who are carers and accessing respite and aged care services.
It is hoped that this day will generate interest for local people to enhance their quality of life, improve life expectancy and also receive social benefits from utilising community services. Make some time to meet your local services to ensure you know what is available for when you need it.
The Community Care Expo is proudly sponsored by Cape Hawke Community Private Hospital Association, North Coast Community Care, Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centre Mid North Coast and Forster Private Hospital, with the support of many local businesses donating lucky door prizes to be given away on the day.
If you are not able to attend the Community Care Expo, then more information can be accessed about:
• Aged Care Service through the Aged Care Australia website www.agedcareaustralia.gov.au or call the Aged Care Information Line 1800 200 422.
• Support for carers through Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 or Carers NSW 1800 242 636.
• Dementia and memory loss through Alzheimer’s NSW 1800 100 500
• Disability & mental health services through Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222.