Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged
Wesley Mission’s Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) program assists aged people in the community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They are referred to the program from hospital social workers, community aged care workers, refuge workers, corrective services or from friends or neighbours who have identified someone in need.
The program receives referrals for older people on a low income who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless for a range of reasons such as ill health, financial stress or family breakdown.
Not all those who come to the program are homeless or need to be moved from their homes. Some are able to stay in their own home but require support services for them to remain there safely, such as Homecare Services, Community Transport or Neighbour Aid.
People who come into Wesley Mission’s ACHA program range in age from their late fifties up to their nineties. Often they have not had medical attention for a number of years and are suffering from mental health issues, addiction, dementia or brain injury resulting from addiction.
Many have multiple health and mental health issues associated with ageing that have left them vulnerable, socially isolated and on the edge of society with no friends or family.
There are also a number of older people in the program who, as a result of Sydney’s inflated rental market, can no longer afford to pay their rent.
How we work
Where appropriate, ACHA works with other programs and supports for older people to assist them to find secure housing such as Housing NSW accommodation, self-care rental in retirement villages, community housing, boarding houses, hostel or nursing homes.
Staff assist people in moving and settling in to their home and ensure that appropriate services are provided for their ongoing care. ACHA provides a range of support services and works with people in a variety of ways including:
- building up trust in the context of a supportive relationship
- addressing immediate needs such as arranging medical appointments, filling out forms and sorting financial situations
- providing temporary assistance with daily activities and care
- arranging squalor cleans and forensic cleans of insecure housing
- arranging in-home care and support (such as cleaning or shopping services or Community Visitors Scheme)
- supporting them through the Guardianship Tribunal
- referring to appropriate care providers
- identifying and assisting with obtaining alternative housing
- assistance with rehousing
- engaging and supporting those who are socially isolated
- providing advocacy to government and welfare bodies.
Many people who come into the ACHA program have lost contact with family and friends and are isolated and without the broader supports to help them.
ACHA staff are able to assist them with forming relationships in the community through social groups and, where appropriate, support them to restore family relationships that may have broken down.
ACHA strives to link people with the appropriate community networks that will support and sustain their accommodation.