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 Measure (the Measure) has been introduced to assist and guide older Australians and their families to better understand and access the aged care system. The Measure is aimed particularly at vulnerable people or those facing significant barriers to accessing aged care services.
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 is being trialled across Australia from January 2019 to June 2020. Council on the Aging (COTA) Australia has been engaged to coordinate the implementation of 59 trials across 14 locations, covering diverse geographic regions including metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas.
The trials involve the provision of 30 aged care information hubs, 20 community hubs, and six full-time specialist support workers placed in consumer-focused organisations. In addition, six extra full-time aged care Financial Information Support Officers have been placed in the Department of Human Services (DHS).
AHA commenced an evaluation of the Measure in January 2019. The evaluation objectives are to:
The evaluation will involve extensive consultation (through surveys, interviews and site visits) with the service providers delivering the trials, consumers/family members engaging with services, and other stakeholders. We will also explore other system navigation models (in aged care or other relevant sectors) that are operating in Australia and internationally.
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.