My Aged Care is an Australian funded service aimed for individuals aged 65 years old and over, or 50 years old and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander residents. It is an entry point for these individuals to access government funded aged care-services including home help, assistance with daily tasks and many more. In the context of knee osteoarthritis, it can be used to access care from allied health services that may be needed for the individual’s care such as physiotherapists, dietitians and podiatrists.
To get a glimpse of what My Aged Care is watch the video below provided by My Aged Care.
As you can see from the video above, My Aged Care is an entry point to access different types of services for a range of different older population. They provide short and long term care while you’re living in the community, but there is also support when an individual needs to move into a residential aged care facility. For the purpose of this website, we will focus on how to access allied health professionals that you may need to care for your knee osteoarthritis, rather than focusing on the latter.
Besides facilitating a transition to a residential aged care facility, My Aged Care is able to provide help at home and/or short term care.
As you transition to a more senior stage of life, you may find that living independently with knee osteoarthritis may be difficult. Help at home provide you with services such as personal hygiene, meals and food preparation, nursing and medication monitoring, allied health (physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy), home modifications, cleaning, gardening maintenance and transport assistance. These are all aimed to keep you living longer at home.
Short term care are for those who need support services for only a set period of time. The aim is to help you to either restore or maintain your independence at home with similar services that is already mentioned above, but only for a short term. This is sometimes more appropriate for those who have just gone home from hospital and still require a bit of help in the interim.
In order to receive these services, you will need to be assessed by My Aged Care to determine what services is appropriate for you.
To be eligible for a My Aged Care assessment, you will need to be 65 years old (or over) , or 50 years old (or over) with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
If you are still a healthy older Australian who is living independently at home, meet the eligibility criteria and wish to participate in allied health services to improve the symptoms of your knee osteoarthritis, you will need a My Aged Care assessment first. A team called the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) may contact you to discuss your need and may refer you to a community health centre in your area. Your service will then be provided through a program called the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
However, if you meet the eligibility criteria above, wish to participate in allied health services for your knee osteoarthritis, but is struggling with some daily activities (such as cleaning, cooking and more), you may be eligible for an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS). This is a more comprehensive assessment where they can also support you with daily tasks in addition to the allied health services you may need for your knee osteoarthritis. It’s important to note that an ACAS may have longer waiting times.
The diagram below is a simplified flowchart of the whole process.
If you need more information on community health services and what it can do for your knee osteoarthritis click here
Anyone can start a referral to My Aged Care and get the assessment started. It may be you, a carer, a family member, or a health professional that you may currently be involved with. The individual can apply online or through a phone call.
To apply online, click here. Alternatively, if you’d like to call them to start the assessment, call 1800 200 422 (freecall)
If you are applying via telephone, My Aged Care is open from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, and 10am to 2pm on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday.
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