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Pilot advice line could become permanent support to navigate services

An independent advice service to help families navigate aged care could be on the cards if a pilot of the newly announced Aged Care Advisory Service by Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria is successful.

A pilot advice line is running through COTA Victoria from November through to December (Source: Shutterstock)
A pilot advice line is running through COTA Victoria from November through to December (Source: Shutterstock)

The advisory service, which will be run through COTA Victoria’s phone information line from the start of November  running until December 22, will determine whether to allocate funding towards a more permanent and dedicated service.

COTA Chief Executive Officer Ronda Held says COTA Victoria was receiving an increasing number of enquiries through their general information line, which highlighted the need to pilot a more dedicated service to support the journey older people and their families take as they access aged care.

“We've found that a family member often asks for aged care information when they are already reaching a crisis point,” Ms Held says.

“The older person in their family may have had 20 hospital visits from falls or numerous trips to their doctor for health issues but there has been no aged care assessment, yet the family knows their loved one needs more care and they don’t know where to start.

“It would be more helpful  to have greater support sooner, before the crisis, and to access social and emotional support and the huge amount of information to make what are often difficult decisions.

“We want to help people find the right direction for them, to navigate what can be an overwhelming process.”

The COTA pilot program will aim to support those seeking to navigate aged care, while ascertaining the main issues, time spent on each concern and the geographical area where calls originate so COTA can target a more specific service.

The call-back service is available to Victorians between 9am-1pm Monday to Friday on 1300 135 090.

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