Upper Murray Family Care will hold workshops on negotiating aged care changes

CONFUSING: UMFC's Paul Andrews and Jan Kowarzik say buzzwords in the health system such as My Aged Care can be like 'alphabet soup'. Picture: MARK JESSER

CONFUSING: UMFC's Paul Andrews and Jan Kowarzik say buzzwords in the health system such as My Aged Care can be like 'alphabet soup'. Picture: MARK JESSER

Upper Murray Family Care support options co-ordinator Jan Kowarzik likens the jumble of acronyms and phrases surrounding the aged care system to “alphabet soup”.

Ms Kowarzik said as consumer-directed care or ‘CDCs’ become the standard, changes to care packages needed to be explained simply.

“The NDIS gets a lot of publicity, but the changes in the aged care system have not attracted quite so much attention,” she said.

“For a lot of people, it can be quite confusing.

“We thought a forum was needed to have it all explained in plain English.”

UMFC will host a series of workshops with Carers Victoria for carers and aged care recipients across April and May to explain exactly what the changes will mean.

Carers Victoria education officer Annie Keogh said the sessions would also touch on “difficult” subjects such as family discussions around power of attorney.

“We will discuss in detail specific topics such as support to stay at home, residential care costs and finding out what’s ‘out there’,” she said.

“Attending the sessions will ensure you are well-informed and able to navigate the aged care system with knowledge and confidence.”

The aged care reforms were announced by the federal government last year.

Since February this year, home care packages have been provided to individual consumers rather than the previous method where home care packages were awarded to approved providers.

Ms Kowarzik said the aim of the reforms was to offer more choice, but many needed guidance in seeking care individually.

“Now, they are directly being offered packages, so you have to go out and find your own service provider, but you have to know how to do that sort of thing,” she said.

“Cost is another question – what it will cost, what support is available at home and how the age care reforms will affect them are common queries.

“Our first workshop will be a general overview and the other four following in April and May will be more interactive and people can come and ask questions.”

The first information session will be held on April 5 from 11am to 1pm at Birallee Park Neighbourhood House. The other workshops will follow on April 19, April 26, May 10 and May 17.

Entry is a gold coin donation – to register contact (02) 6055 8000.

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