Consultation for Aged Care

Blind Citizens Australia invites you to share your stories and experiences of accessing services, support and information for those who are aged 65 or older. How are My Aged Care and other disability-related programs and services supporting you, a person who is blind or vision impaired? What are the gaps in what is available to you?  If there are services that you haven’t yet accessed, what is stopping you from connecting to them?

BCA is making a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. A royal commission is the highest level of public inquiry in Australia. Its main functions are to investigate an issue, produce a report and make recommendations to government. This work is informed by extensive input from members of the community, who are invited to share their concerns about the matter/s being investigated.

To ensure we include the views of people who are blind or vision impaired, we are asking you to share your experiences with supports, or lack thereof, for those who are blind or vision impaired and are 65 or over. We know that it is essential that our thoughts and viewpoints and recommendations that we present are backed up by examples and numbers.  Providing real life experiences and stories is the best and most effective way that we can advocate for change. We are interested in hearing from you whether or not you currently access services through the aged care system.

Some initial thoughts on topics that you may be able to include in your feedback:

  • My Aged Care Assessment Process – how can this be more individualised and related to the needs of people who are blind or vision impaired?
  • Focus on frailty in ageing rather than individualised disability-specific needs.  The needs of BCA members are generally related to their blindness or vision impairment, which may have been supported through disability services prior to the introduction of the NDIS.  How are these support needs being met now?
  • Access to Assistive Technology.  How can you access blindness-specific supports through the aged care system?  What are the gaps in getting this support?
  • Available packages and waiting lists – how does the system ensure safety and independence by making appropriate levels of support available to individuals?
  • Lack of independent access to information on aged care in accessible formats – especially care plans and contracts.
  • Issues with dog guide access and maintenance through My Aged Care.  What are the barriers with service providers in getting and paying for dog guides if you are 65 or over?
  • Service Provider issues with high admin fees and unethical practices
  • Lack of training in disability/ability awareness for aged care service providers

Please note that to ensure your privacy and confidentiality, all stories we receive will be de-identified, with all names and identifying details removed before we use it.  BCA may use your story as an example to the submission to the Royal Commission, as well as further communications with government in the future.

You can contribute to this important consultation in a number of ways.

Phone: 1800 033 660 and talk to a BCA staff member, who will take down your story with you over the phone.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone over the phone, you can share your story by leaving a message through the feedback option on BCA’s phone system by selecting option 2 when calling. This can be done anonymously if you wish.

You can also email: bca@bca.org.au with the subject: Feedback on Aged Care

If you have been considering making your own personal submission to the Royal Commission, we can also assist you in that process.

If you are sharing someone else’s experience or story, you must have their permission to do so.

If you know of someone who may not get this call out for feedback from BCA but who would like to contribute, please pass on this information to them, or encourage them to contact BCA for further information.

All stories and feedback for the Royal Commission into Aged Care must be received by BCA by Monday 5th August 2019.

Sharing personal stories may bring up feelings of distress. If you are feeling affected by this process, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Angela Jaeschke
Advocacy and Policy Manager