17 April 2024
Under The Microscope feature article

The aged care system is not always simple or straightforward.

For older Australians, it can be daunting navigating and accessing aged care services through My Aged Care and other relevant community supports.

Assistance is available from care finders which provide face-to-face assistance to vulnerable older people needing different help to that provided by the My Aged Care call service or website.

SWSPHN has commissioned care finder services across South Western Sydney which cover a range of cultural needs.

What is care finder?

Care finder is a program resulting from the Royal Commission into Aged Care and provides specialist and intensive assistance to a subset of the older Australian population to help them understand and access aged care and connect with other relevant supports in the community.

The service is designed to reach older Australians who are eligible for My Aged Care services and meet one or more of the below criteria:


Why is this work important?

The aged care system is complex to navigate and access the services which are needed.

Some groups of older Australians may face barriers in accessing and engaging with the essential supports and services which contribute to better health.

Evidence indicates there is an under-utilisation of aged care services among older Australians.

Indigenous Australians represent only 2.6 per cent of people using aged care services, compared with a population of 3.4 per cent.

This is similar for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations, with only 18 to 20 per cent of older people born in non-English speaking countries using aged care services in South Western Sydney compared with a NSW average of approximately 34 per cent.

Challenges for CALD communities include English being their second language, not knowing where to access services, lack of confidence to ask for help and social isolation due to language barriers.

Older Australians who are hesitant to engage with institutions and government are also at risk of not accessing services and supports which they may need as they age. 

Care finders aim to see:

  • improved coordination of support when seeking access to aged care
  • improved understanding of aged care services and how to access them
  • improved client willingness/openness to engage with the aged care system
  • increased access to aged care services and connections with other relevant supports
  • increased rates of clients staying connected to the services they need post service commencement

What do care finder services do?

  • assist eligible older people with their My Aged Care applications, provide guidance on services to apply for and attend the My Aged Care assessment where appropriate
  • work through income/means testing and costs (with support from Services Australia as required)
  • help people connect with health services, mental health services, housing services, drug and alcohol services, community groups and transport as needed
  • complete high-level check-in on a periodic basis and follow up support once services have commenced
  • build a rapport with clients and providers

How do people access the service?

Referrals can be made through the Triple I Hub. GPs can use the referral form or install templates for MedicalDirector and Best Practice via the link on this webpage.

Your patients can also self-refer by contacting the services directly. The services’ contact details are listed on the webpage above.