We’re sharing this comprehensive eBook and guide thanks to the support of Mable.
From our research, we know women are spending considerable time thinking about, organizing, and navigating the aged care system in Australia, especially on behalf of older family members.
What we’ve also learned is that understanding the aged care system is not always easy in Australia, and numerous myths prevail around options when it comes to managing this part of life.
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In surveying more than 600 women on this issue in June 2021, we found that 67% had spent time researching aged care options, while 40% of women felt responsible for managing aged care options for their parents or other family members.
This is often done while taking on other caring responsibilities, such as caring for kids or for someone with a disability. Indeed, for those women with kids as well as parents aged over 64, 45% indicated they feel “sandwiched” between managing care and support for older parents, as well as for their own children.
It’s clear more support is needed to support those managing these competing and vital responsibilities.
It’s also clear that more information on the aged care system generally is need to support everyone in navigating it, from those look for care themselves to those seeking care options for loved ones.
For the past six months, thanks to our partnership with Mable, we have been further investigating how aged care works in Australia, and some of the pressures women are facing in not only managing this care, but also in organisating it: undertaking the thinking and research, the negotiating with family members, and the difficult and sensitive conversations required around this issue.
We’ve published a number of key pieces explaining the aged care system in Australia, outlining the options available and debunking the myths that exist around the system — such as that nursing homes are the only option, when actually only 5.2 per cent of older Australians live in such facilities, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
We also debunked the myth that “all aged care providers are the same”, when actually such providers can vary dramatically in cost, quality and the options they offer.
And in particular, we aimed to highlight the often unknown information about home care packages, including how these packages can be self-managed with the support of providers.
We also addressed essential things to know about aged care packages, especially to plan ahead rather than expecting such packages to be available as soon as you need them. With caps still on the number of such placements available, and shortages expected even after the Federal government announced an extra 80,000 new home care packages to be released over the next two years, there can still be a three to six-month wait for low-level packages, and up to 18 months for high-level packages.
Our reporting also aimed to rethink stereotypes around ageing and the aged care system generally. The dominant stereotype of older people as frail, vulnerable and lacking in independence is not supported by the facts.
As Rachel Debeck, COO of Mable shared: “Even for the many of us who will seek support from the aged care system, it doesn’t have to be about dependency and loss. It’s just as much about retaining our independence and continuing to live well, stay safe and connected and be able to follow our passions.”
It’s time to flip attitudes about getting older and the aged care system to not just being about surviving, but rather thriving.
And it’s time to acknowledge and better support the so often underlooked women who take on the huge responsibility of not only caring for older Australians, but also organising and managing such care.
Our comprehensive guide to aged care in Australia has been developed based on pieces published on Women’s Agenda, guidance from experts, our own independent research and more.
Inside, you’ll find information on:
- How to start conversations with loved ones as they get older
- How to rethink the aged care system and think more positively about this stage of life
- The roles women take on in aged care and the immediate need to acknowledge this work
- What to know about the aged care system generally
- What to know about in-home aged care and support
- And everything you need to know about managing a home care package.
These stories were produced independently but supported by Mable, the website enabling older people who could use a bit of assistance, as well as those supporting them to find and choose their own team of care and support workers.
You can download the free guide here.