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New service guides seniors through aged care minefield

SPONSORED STORY - A Gold Coast aged care community has kicked off the year with a unique program designed to alleviate the issues older Australians encounter when seeking aged care.

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Aged Care Assist can look for aged care services that would fit all of your concerns, whether it is health, isolation, security, boredom or loneliness. [Source: Supplied]

Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities has introduced the complimentary service, Aged Care Assist, to offer unbiased and tailored advice to older people about what aged care options suit their needs and are available to them.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Odyssey, Phil Usher, says Aged Care Assist is a free and comprehensive service designed to help older people make informed choices when it comes to available aged care options.

"Over Christmas, many families have had a chance to get together and some people may have realised that the care needs of their older loved ones requires consideration," says Mr Usher.

"The process of seeking aged care services and the number of options can be overwhelming and is often referred to as a minefield, so we’ve introduced this program as a way to guide seniors through the decision-making and transition process.

"We’re encouraging anybody who is seeking aged care for themselves or someone else to book an appointment with us. If you feel your quality and enjoyment of life is starting to become compromised, it might be time to start exploring your options."

Aged Care Assist can look for services that would fit all of your concerns - like health, isolation, security, boredom or loneliness - and there is a solution for everyone.

Even though Odyssey is providing the service, it is not biassed and also obligation-free, so you could end up with a recommendation for a move to Odyssey or to a completely different provider, however, the important thing is that the service you end up with fits your needs.

Mr Usher says that Odyssey wants to help older people achieve the best outcomes possible, no matter the situation or who the provider may be, as the aged care industry can be confusing at times.

Odyssey also provides information on signs you should look out for that may indicate an older loved one needs extra help and assistance.

These signs can include:

  • Holding on to furniture to steady themselves
  • Not being able to see properly
  • Needing help to sit or get out of chairs
  • Reluctance to walk up stairs
  • An unexpected loss of weight

"Psychological warning signs are a little more difficult to assess but try to watch interactions with other family members to determine how the person is mentally," says Mr Usher.

"Observe whether your elderly loved one is actively engaged in conversation, do they have good short-term recall or are they repeating the same stories, and can they remember the names of relatives?

"Are they asking questions such as ‘how did you get here today?' or ‘what’s today again?'

"Once you’ve made observations and if concerns are identified, it’s time to approach the key decision makers in the family."

While it can be difficult to bring up the conversation, Mr Usher recommends being gentle and expressing your concern as a family member, as these warning signs should not be ignored.

"And remember, that we’re here to lend a helping hand if you feel you need it," adds Mr Usher.

To access the program, call on 07 5551 6720 or visit the Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities website.

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