Two Brisbane primary health networks have released a national guide to help GPs, specialists and other health professionals support patients in accessing aged care services.
The aged care system resource guide has been developed by Brisbane North and Brisbane South PHNs, one of the state’s seven primary health networks, but can be used across Australia.
The guide is designed to help health care professionals better navigate the aged care system and help their older patients make informed decisions in the face of a notoriously complex and sometimes baffling system.
Executive Manager for Aged and Community Care System Improvement at Brisbane North PHN, Sharon Sweeney, says the guide recognises health professionals as a key contact point for patients entering the aged care system.
“Australia has an ageing population that is increasingly aware of self-determination and individual responsibility for achieving good health and wellbeing,” Ms Sweeney says.
“As a result, people are more likely to seek the advice of health professionals when choosing aged care services that meet their needs.”
The guide is a digital PDF featuring a colour-coded flow chart that links aged care programs to referral processes and outlines referral options for aged care across Australia.
It offers advice on the My Aged Care portal as well as how to find additional supports for vulnerable clients and their carers.
The guide also includes links to consumer guides for relevant aged care programs.
Brisbane South PHN’s Program Manager for Older People Laura Casey says PNHs can play a role in supporting people to lead healthy and fulfiling lives in their communities as they age.
“We hope this guide will empower health care professionals to support their older patients to confidently make informed choices about their long-term care, and where possible, help them to live independently for longer,” she said.