03 April 2023
Frail elderly woman appreciates receiving care finder support

A new face-to-face service which connects vulnerable older people with a variety of aged care and other services, provides guidance in navigating the My Aged Care system and does regular check-ins with clients, is now operating in South Western Sydney.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) has funded six “care finder” services across the region, which will focus on the specific needs of their communities.

Care finder service providers in South Western Sydney include:

  • CatholicCare Sydney which covers all of South Western Sydney with a particular focus on older people at risk of homelessness (131 819)
  • Catholic Healthcare which covers Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA) (1800 225 474)
  • Multicultural Care Limited which covers all South Western Sydney LGAs with a particular focus on Hindi and Vietnamese communities (9718 6199)
  • Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre which covers all South Western Sydney LGAs with a particular focus on Arabic and Assyrian communities (8778 1200)
  • EACH social and community health which covers Camden, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee LGAs (1300 003 224)
  • Benevolent Society which covers Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool and Campbelltown LGAs (1800 236 726)

The care finder services are a Commonwealth-funded aged care initiative, and part of the government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care’s recommendation for more localised and face-to-face support to help people navigate access to aged care services.

Through the program, older people are assisted to find services and support which is right for them and considers their individual needs. The care finder organisations complement the existing My Aged Care single entry portal.

Care finder services are intended for senior Australians who need intensive support.

This includes non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 65 and over, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over. Those eligible for the service may be isolated, have communication barriers or trouble processing information.

According to SWSPHN’s 2022-2025 Needs Assessment, in 2021 there were 148,072 older adults living in South Western Sydney.

It is expected the number of people aged 65 years and older will reach up to 220,620 by 2031, an increase of 49 per cent. The growth in the next 15 years is expected to be particularly significant amongst those over 85 years of age (an increase of 92 per cent) with an additional 14,660 people.

The most significant increase in the older population in the next 15 years will be in the Macarthur region: Camden (181.5 per cent), Campbelltown (83.1 per cent) and Wollondilly (81.9 per cent) LGAs; followed by Liverpool LGA (94.9 per cent).

SWSPHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald PhD, said the care finder services were vital to ensuring members of our growing ageing population were able to access aged care services and other relevant community support.

“We’ve worked with our community – including consumers, carers and aged care providers – to design services which support the specific needs of older adults in our region, and we’re thankful to all those who shared their valuable knowledge and input during forums and via surveys,” he said.

“Care finder services will have a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, and are at greatest risk of falling through the cracks. This includes people who are not yet receiving aged care services, as well as those who are.

“The program aims to improve the health of our older people by improving participants’ understanding of aged care services and how to access them, and improving coordination of and connection to aged care and other services they may need.”

There are four ways for South Western Sydney residents to apply for care finder services.

  • Call and speak to any of the commissioned care finder service providers
  • GP referral: A GP may decide care finder services are needed and submit a referral on behalf of the patient
  • My Aged Care: A My Aged Care assessor may decide whether care finder intensive support is needed and apply on the person’s behalf
  • Call Triple I centralised intake to discuss a referral to a care finder service in your area (1800 455 511)

Visit our website to find out more about how care finder services can help and how to access those services.