On this page you will find discussion and information regarding My Aged Care and how it might impact people who are blind or vision impaired. This page will have regular updates and information added as it comes to hand. So re-visit regularly.
BCA My Aged Care – Living Document Part 1
I know that some of you have been wondering where the BCA office is up to with keeping the commitments we made in our My Aged Care position statement. Let me reassure you that although you haven’t been hearing very much, the work has continued in the background.
Here is the first part of a living document about My Aged Care. This part of the document Making Sense of My Aged Care (Word docx) contains some very broad background information to begin to answer two key questions: where have we come from, and why are things changing? There’s a lot to learn and we want to make sure the information we give you is as easy to follow as possible while still giving you enough detail. Your feedback will be crucial in making sure we strike the right balance. As I’ve said previously, the idea of a living document is that we will update it as things change and as people ask us for more information. If you have suggestions about what you’d like to see in a future version of this section, please contact Rikki Chaplin at: Rikki.firstname.lastname@example.org
Work is underway on the second part of the document, which will be about what the system is like now and how to access it.
We have created this dedicated My Aged Care page which will be populated with news and documents as we build our work in this area.
BCA My Aged Care Teleconferences
BCA invites both members and non-members to attend the first in our ongoing series of teleconferences on My Aged Care (MAC). These will be two teleconferences each week over two weeks. The first set will be held on Wednesday 13th April (2 – 4PM EST) and Thursday 14th April (7:30PM – 9:30PM EST). This set will focus on providing you with information about the My Aged Care system, as we promised in our position statement.
The high likelihood of a July election means we need to be proactive about tackling election campaigning on My Aged Care. In light of this, the second week of teleconferences will focus on BCA’s position statement, our election goals and what you can be doing to support those goals. These teleconferences will be held on Wednesday 20th April at 2:00PM – 4:00PM EST and Thursday 21st April at 7:30PM – 9:30PM EST.
Please direct any queries about the teleconferences or register for your preferred teleconference by calling or emailing Kate Morris in the BCA office on email@example.com or calling 1800 033 660. Dial in details and an agenda will be sent out a few days before the event.
BCA Position Statement on My Aged Care
For reading or download, here you will find a copy of the Blind Citizens Australia Position Statement on My Aged Care (Word docx)
My Aged Care written by BCA CEO Leah Van Poppel
It has been great to see such vibrant discussion of aged care issues among members recently. It reinforces that this is going to be a critical issue going forward for us. The office and Board are keen to make sure that the concerns raised on this issue are addressed by BCA. The Board and the office will be working closely together as the aged care system rolls out.
I wanted to recap some of the things we’ve been doing in the office, and to reflect on the concerns which have been raised by members through phone calls and on the bca list.
Firstly, Emma and I have already met with some federal politicians late last year to discuss aged care. We’ve highlighted the need for people who are blind or vision impaired to be able to access appropriate supports, and we discussed our concern about the 65 age cut off for NDIS. These were initial conversations which we’re hoping to follow up on in 2016.
In the office, we’ve also started talking to Vision Australia about aged care issues. We’ve started with them because they are a vision impairment specific registered provider for some aged care services, but we will be starting to speak to other agencies throughout 2016. We’ve also been giving input to organisations working across the sector on aged care policy submissions, such as Australian Blindness Forum and Vision 2020 Australia.
On reflecting on the feedback I have received from members so far, I can see three common threads:
- A concern that people in the NDIS and people in the aged care system are not being treated equally;
- A concern that people who are blind or vision impaired can’t access disability specific information about the aged care system and;
- A concern that co-payments will have an unfair impact.
If these are the key issues for our members, it would be great to know if you see any one or more of them as more urgent than the others. As I’m sure you’re all aware, we have limited resources and it would be helpful for us to be able to think about how to prioritise work in this area.
If you would like to join the discussion on these topics, you can join the BCA email list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the office on 03 9654 1400.
If you have any questions about what has been happening in the office around aged care, or if you are keen to get some pointers about advocating on this issue for yourself, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Aged Care and NDIS written by Lynne Davis, BCA board member (NDIS and MAC portfolio)
To all those who have shared their views and concerns of the My Aged Care reforms with myself and the staff at BCA, thank you for such an articulate and useful discussion.
I joined the board of Blind Citizens Australia in late 2015 and was given the portfolio responsibility for The NDIS and My Aged Care. I have been following your feedback and discussions on the bca list with great interest. There is evidently a lot of concern amongst blind and vision impaired people aged 65 and over concerning the future of disability support services under the My Aged Care arrangements, and these concerns are fueled by a lack of information about the new and proposed arrangements.
Our immediate priority, as the organisation representing blind and vision impaired Australians, is to collect as much information as we can about our members concerns and then to advocate for these concerns to be addressed. I would welcome further discussion of your concerns on the bca list, as well as the opportunity to speak to you in person about them. I can be contacted by phone on 0419 637 618, or (02) 9439 3504.
We will also do what we can to improve the quality of information which is being provided about the MAC arrangements as they apply to people who are blind or vision impaired, as access to this information seems to be very limited at present.
Finally, if you have had some direct experience of the new arrangements, it would be very interesting to hear from you.
Let’s do what we can to ensure that age is not a factor in determining whether Australians who are blind or vision impaired receive the services and supports which they need!
Looking forward to hearing from you,