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Allied Health Services and My Aged Care

20 February, 2024

If you've recently been told you're eligible for a Home Care Package, or if you're thinking about applying for one, you might be wondering what services you can access.

While not all allied health services are available through My Aged Care, thankfully, some are. However, although the Australian Government has made every effort to make the My Aged Care system as simple as possible, it can still be difficult to navigate.

As a result, we wanted to use this blog to explain what allied health services can be funded using your Home Care package, the role that they play within the My Aged Care system and how to access them.

A confident allied health professional stands at the forefront, with a diverse team of healthcare colleagues in the background, representing the broad spectrum of allied health care assistance available to support patient well-being.

Understanding My Aged Care

My Aged Care is a government initiative that provides older Australians, their families, and carers with information, assessment, and funding for a range of aged care services to support independence and well-being.

The first step in accessing funding through My Aged Care is to undergo an assessment to determine eligibility and identify your specific care requirements. This assessment considers various factors, including physical health, mobility, mental well-being, and existing support networks. Based on the assessment outcome, you may be eligible for funding for a range of services in the form of a Home Care package.

What Is Allied Health Assistance?

Whereas primary health providers such as doctors and nurses are professionals directly involved in medical diagnosis infection prevention, treatment, and management of diseases and conditions, allied health providers encompass a broader spectrum of healthcare professionals who offer complementary and specialised services that support overall health and well-being but do not engage in medical procedures or prescriptions.

Allied health practitioners and allied health assistants play a crucial role in multidisciplinary healthcare teams and encompass a diverse range of therapeutic and diagnostic disciplines.

The services provided by allied health professionals and allied health assistants, include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, podiatry, dietetics, art therapy and psychology.

How Do I Access Allied Health Assistance Through My Aged Care

Funding for allied health assistance can be accessed through a Home Care Package.

If you manage your own funding, you can make your own appointments with allied health workers and allied health assistants, otherwise a home care provider like Focus Care, will assist you with finding appropriate health care service providers and making appointments with them to make sure you get the help you need.

What Types of Allied Health Professionals Are Available?

Let's delve into some key allied health services commonly accessed through using a home care package:

A senior gentleman shares a joyful moment with an allied health physiotherapist during a rehabilitation session, highlighting the therapeutic relationship and the commitment to enhancing mobility and independence in the elderly.1. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists specialise in improving movement and function, alleviating pain, and enhancing overall mobility. Through tailored exercises, manual therapy, and assistive devices, these workers aims to restore independence and optimise physical well-being.

A senior woman in a wheelchair in an occupational therapy session with an occupational therapist in an outdoor setting 2. Occupational Therapy (OT)

An occupational therapist and an occupational therapy assistant will focus on enabling individuals to participate in daily activities and routines. They provide strategies treatment plans and interventions to overcome physical barriers, adapt environments, and enhance skills necessary for independent living.

A podiatrist providing foot care to aged care patient3. Podiatry

Podiatrists are health professionals who specialise in foot care and lower limb health. They assess and treat conditions in patients, such as foot pain and diabetic foot complications, promoting mobility, comfort, and preventing further foot issues.

Senior woman receiving speech pathology from young therapist as a part of Allied Health Services provided by My Aged Care4. Speech Pathology

Speech pathologists provide patient care that addresses communication and swallowing difficulties. They provide interventions to improve speech clarity, language comprehension, communication skills, and swallowing function, enhancing social interaction and nutritional intake. They are often used by individuals who have experienced strokes.

group of seniors are immersed in an art therapy class, a form of allied health service that supports emotional expression and cognitive function through creative engagement, demonstrating the holistic approach to aged care.

5. Creative Therapies

Creative therapies like those provided by Focus Care, can be an essential part of holistic patient care, promoting well-being, self-expression, and social engagement. Therapies such as art therapy and music therapy can be very valuable and can be a great option for many people.

Why About Mental Health Support?

While psychologists are valuable service providers, they are generally not accessed using Home Care Package funding. Instead, mental health services are generally accessed through a GP with funding assistance from Medicare.

How Can Focus Care Help?

Through My Aged Care, older Australians can access a wide spectrum of interventions tailored to their unique needs and circumstances. By harnessing the expertise of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, art therapists, counsellors and speech pathologists, individuals can embark on a journey towards optimal health and vitality in their later years.

Focus Care is a trusted provider of home care services and creative therapies and has helped many older Australians maintain their independence. As an approved provider of Home Care Packages, we are experts in navigating the My Aged Care system and helping achieve superior outcomes in later life for our clients.

For more information on how we may be able to help you with a Home Care Package please get in touch with our team.

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