Commonwealth Department of Health
Older Australians are often faced with a complex and confusing set of entry points into aged care services. The Aged Care System Navigator (the measure) was introduced to assist and guide older Australians and their families to better understand and access the aged care system. The ACSN measure was aimed particularly at vulnerable people or those facing barriers to accessing aged care services.
The Australian Government Department of Health (the department) appointed AHA to evaluate the measure because of our extensive track record of evaluating programs in the aged care sector, and our recognised ability to engage sensitively with people from diverse, vulnerable or ‘hard-to-reach’ population groups.
The measure involved delivery of a program of aged care navigation trials across Australia from October 2018 to June 2021:
The aged care information hubs trials, community hubs trials and specialist support workers trials are being delivered by a consortium led by COTA Australia. The aged care financial information service officers trials were delivered by the Department of Human Services (now ‘Services Australia’) and concluded in October 2019.
The information hubs, community hubs and SSW trials were delivered by a consortium of partner organisations led by COTA Australia, and are concluding in June 2021. The financial information service officers trials were delivered by the Department of Human Services (now ‘Services Australia’) and concluded in October 2019.
The evaluation findings:
The evaluation involved extensive consultation (through surveys, interviews and site visits) with the partner organisations delivering the trials, consumers/family members that received navigation support from the trials, and other stakeholders. AHA also reviewed other system navigation models (in aged care and other relevant sectors) that have operated in Australia and internationally.
The final evaluation report, which contains comprehensive findings and recommendations for the future of aged care navigation, was published in May 2021.
Older people make up a significant and increasing proportion of Australia’s population. Providing quality aged care for an ageing population, poses important economic and social challenges for society.