An initiative to improve the take up of home care packages by older indigenous Australians in Sydney’s west has been recognised in this year’s Better Practice Awards.
While indigenous Australians are identified as a special needs group under the Aged Care Act, home care provider Annecto identified that very few indigenous elders were being assessed for entry into home care in the Blacktown local government area. This was despite the Blacktown area having the largest urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in New South Wales.
To increase community awareness and use of aged care services, Annecto initiated partnerships with local Aboriginal organisations and increased engagement with indigenous elders and their families.
Aboriginal elders identified the cultural appropriateness of assessment and care services as a particular barrier to utilising services.
Key initiatives in the project included developing an Aboriginal Reconciliation plan, employing an Aboriginal Liaison Officer to work with clients and co-designing marketing materials with Aboriginal elders and artists to share with local communities. Annecto also increased its involvement in Aboriginal cultural events.
As a result of the project, the provider has seen an increase in the number of clients taking up a package and under CDC has initiated brokerage agreements with Aboriginal businesses.
Annecto said it continues to advocate for a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care strategy similar to the CALD and LGBTI strategies currently in place to improve sector capacity and outcomes for this client group.
Elsewhere, integratedliving secured a gong from the Aged Care Quality Agency for its NBN-enabled telehealth pilot which aimed to improve outcomes for older indigenous Australians living in regional NSW and Queensland.
Registered nurses monitored the vital health indicators of Indigenous clients using telehealth technology and referred the client to their GP or specialist if their readings identified a health concern. The program also encouraged clients to self-monitor their results.
Following the success of the pilot, integratedliving has continued to use telehealth as part of a nurse-led model.
Other winners included the City of Burnside in South Australia, which developed a targeted social inclusion program to increase the inclusiveness and appeal of services to older men.
The council worked with older clients to offer options such as men’s breakfasts, cooking classes and a men only group in a respite program.
Click here to read the full list of 2016 winners.
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