New home care provider grows packages being delivered

SUPPORT: Danny Foye, who has health issues including heart failure, is receiving a home care package through Community Interlink. Picture: MARK JESSER
SUPPORT: Danny Foye, who has health issues including heart failure, is receiving a home care package through Community Interlink. Picture: MARK JESSER

The newly-formed home care provider Community Interlink, a consortium of 18 regional health services, has received strong interest since its launch in March.

The services, half of which are located in the North East, have grown the number of home care packages being delivered by nearly 20.

Governance chair Suzanne Miller said the consortium hoped to reach members of the community who were unaware of their eligibility for one of four types of packages.

“There can be suspicion if people ask for help they will end up in an aged care facility, but the whole idea of the packages is to keep you at home,” she said.

“We would encourage the government to continue increasing the availability of packages and for people to get assessed for a package now.

“Currently there are some funded services provided through local government that are in place for people, but those services will be going in 2020.

“We hope other regional areas might look at similar models to keep services local for vulnerable people.”

Ms Miller welcomed an extra 14,000 packages in the federal budget this year, but said more needed to be funded with more than 100,000 people on the waiting list.

“The longer they wait without help, the more likely they are to need more support in the future – if we put things in place early, people can remain at home,” she said. 

“What we’re finding is people are getting higher-level packages – even though they are more frail, they are able to stay in their home because of the package.

Danny Foye of Wodonga, whose home care package is delivered by Community Interlink, is among the recipients on package four, the highest level.

“Because of the package, most things I would need to go to hospital for, such as the nebuliser, oxygen and medication, I can get at home,” he said.

“When my wife is away, they provide someone to stay overnight, and we also receive lawn-mowing and cleaning services.

“The package is enormously helpful for people with multiple health problems.”