Accessing mainstream aged care providers

In Australia, most services for older people the government funds are accessible through My Aged Care. To access My Aged Care a person must be 65 years or older (or 50 years or older if they are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander).

🎥 VIDEO: Watch this short video on My Aged Care (2:50):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkWMK7gDVkw&t=26s

🎥 VIDEO: Watch this short video on the client journey within My Aged Care (6:52): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaWsGFDBQ0I

Figure 6: My Aged Care in 4 steps, Australian Government website

Three main types of service are accessed through My Aged Care:

  • Aged care services and help at home:
    • Services to get out and stay social. These include services such as outings, groups, visitors and transport.
    • Services for staying well. These include services such as bathing, meals and allied health services.
    • Services to help stay at home. These include services such as home modifications, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Short-term care:
    • These include services to slow down difficulties with everyday tasks. It can also help people when they leave hospital or need respite care.
  • Aged care homes:
    • These services help someone access an aged care home. These are also sometimes called a nursing home or residential aged care facility.

The My Aged Care website provides important information to help people understand the range of services available. There is also information about eligibility criteria and how assessments for services are done. You can also search for local providers.

When searching for a local provider you can search by location and service type. You can also search for many types of specialised care (such as LGBTI). HIV services are not listed as a type of specialised care.

Within the My Aged Care system there is another program called the Care Finder program.

The Care Finder program is a free service that help older people who are vulnerable. The program is mainly for people who need extra support to access aged care and other local services.

When looking for services in your local area, it is also worth contacting your local council.

Many local councils used to provide Home and Community Care (HACC) programs to frail older people and their carers. Many still provide in-home, maintenance and social support groups for older people in the community.

At a regional level, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are also worth exploring.

PHNs do not provide direct services to older people, but they do research on local needs and often provide funding for local programs. PHNs can be a good source of local information about services and programs available within a region.

In each state and territory there are Councils on the Ageing (COTAs). These organisations can also be good sources of information about services and programs for older people.

Finally, it is also important that we think about the needs of carers of older people living with HIV. Carers may include adult partners and peers. They may include adult or younger children of older people living with HIV. The may include other people living with HIV.

Carers are an important part of the support ecosystem around all people living with HIV. Carers and family members have their own support needs that should also be considered. That way they are well supported to continue their vital role.

ℹ️ MORE INFORMATION: See the following for more information about services and programs for older people, including those living with HIV:

– NAPWHA Older PLHIV directory

My Aged Care

Care Finder Program

– Your local council Aged Care team

– Your local Primary Health Network

– State and Territory members of the COTA Federation

– State and Territory Carers organisations accessible via Carers Australia or Carer Gateway (which also includes specific information for LGBTIQA+ carers)

Another excellent and free online learning package is available here from the University of Tasmania, covering a range of topics such as:

  • The Australian aged care system
  • The Aged Care Quality Standards
  • Exploring the role of nurses and allied health professionals
  • Person-centred and trauma-informed care
  • Cross cultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness
  • Specific supports (dementia, falls prevention, end of life planning, mental health, wound management, oral health, hearing)

💡KNOWLEDGE QUESTION: Finding your way around My Aged Care

Remember James from Module 0 (HIV Core Knowledge)? James was a gay man in his sixties who had been living with HIV since the mid-80s. In 2016 he had retired and taken up casual disability support work after moving to a regional town.

James is now in his mid-70s and is living in a small unit in St. Kilda (postcode 3182).

He has recently been assessed through My Aged Care as eligible for services through the Commonwealth Home Support Program. He can access a dietician, some home modifications for his unsteadiness, and support from an Occupational Therapist.

James doesn’t feel confident using the internet and would like your help to find a local provider – ideally someone who is LGBTIQA+ friendly and not too far away. He can probably travel about 20kms.

Using the My Aged Care Find a provider tool, what service(s) [JR1] might you suggest to James?


 [JR1]Top hits meeting various requirements, for example

– Star Health, St Kilda, Prahran or South Melbourne  (meets LGBTIQA, might provide dietician and OT)

– cohealth central city (meets LGBTIQA, might provide dietician and OT)

– City of Port Phillip – Access and Ageing Dept (meets LGBTIQA, might provide home modifications)

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