Projects Aged CareCommunity CareDisability Services

Review of Assistive Technology Programs in Australia

Projects Aged CareCommunity CareDisability Services

Review of Assistive Technology Programs in Australia

Projects Aged CareCommunity CareDisability Services

Review of Assistive Technology Programs in Australia

  • Services

    Evaluation & Advisory

  • Status

    Current

  • Client

    Australian Government Department of Health

  • Jurisdiction

    Australia

Assistive technology (AT) can effectively support older Australians to remain in their own homes safely. Unfortunately, many people are not able to access the AT they need. The Australian Government has appointed AHA to conduct a review of AT programs in Australia and identify ways to improve access to AT for older Australians.

AT is an umbrella term for products and services that maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence. AT can also prevent impairments and secondary health conditions. Examples include wheelchairs, prostheses, walking sticks, hearings aids, visual aids, and specialised computer software and hardware that can increase mobility, hearing, vision, or communication capacities.

The review will build on work already undertaken by the Australian and state and territory governments and will:

  • Consider the benefits of AT, including the potential to mitigate risk when providing care to frail, older people in their homes, and to support relationships between carers and clients
  • Look at the impact of AT on reducing the ongoing costs of in-home and residential care
  • Identify which types of AT should be subsidised by the government or purchased privately, and how rental markets could help improve access
  • Provide a summary of AT programs in Australia, including access points, eligibility criteria, scope of service, and intersections with health and disability sectors
  • Identify ways to improve access to AT for older Australians, including options for a future service delivery and funding model, a cost-benefit analysis, and high-level steps for implementation.

AHA will use a mixed-methods approach to conduct the review over two stages:

  • Stage one will include a desktop review of data and documentation, a rapid evidence review and a round of stakeholder consultation
  • Stage two will include the development of options for a future service delivery and funding model (and costs for each model), a further round of consultation to obtain feedback on the options, and refinement of the model based on this feedback.

This review will also inform AHA’s evaluation of the reablement trial for the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

AHA will look at ways to improve access to assistive technology and will develop options for a future service delivery and funding model.