Australian experience and practices in home care services

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Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, is an economically developed country with an elderly population accounting for about 12% of the total population. Australian law stipulates that the national retirement age is 65 for men and 60 for women. The Australian government attaches great importance to the social welfare of the elderly. There are more than 3,000 pension institutions in Australia, and more than 100,000 elderly people enjoy their old age in the institution.

In recent years, in accordance with the development trend of old-age services and the elderly’s willingness to care for the elderly, the Australian federal government has made strategic adjustments in the pension policy and determined the social welfare service policy for the elderly with community care (ie, home-based care services). According to the living habits of the elderly living in their own homes, the government has designed a set of policies and related content for the elderly to live at home, which has been well received and welcomed by the elderly. At present, 90% of the elderly in Australia have received community home care services, and a home-based care service system based on community and family pension has basically taken shape.

All elderly people can enjoy home care services

According to the relevant laws of the Australian Government, the home care service is for the elderly. However, the government will focus on the following subjects: first, elderly people over 80 years old; second, disabled elderly with various disabilities; third, frail elderly with multiple chronic diseases; fourth, other special experiences Older people, such as retired veterans, are inclined to lean on service subsidies.

Evaluation of the home care service target

In Australia, older people have the right to choose their preferred form of pension in accordance with the law. All elderly people who are willing to accept home-based care services should first apply to the government and go to the Office of Old Age Affairs in their community to apply for registration. Fill in the relevant forms on the relevant forms: 1. Basic information, including physical and economic conditions; 2. Family situation; 3. Projects that require services.


After receiving the application for the elderly, the staff will first review the application service, and then ask the full-time evaluator to come to the elderly for evaluation. The purpose of the assessment is to allow them to enjoy the most suitable home care services based on the different circumstances of the elderly.
The evaluation organization is conducted by a government hired by a third party. The government has also developed uniform, standardized, and very detailed assessment criteria to ensure the fairness and operability of the assessment. After evaluation, according to the health status of the elderly people assessed, they are classified into 8 levels. Each level enjoys different government subsidies. The highest per person can subsidize more than 100 Australian dollars per day, and the lowest is more than 20 Australian dollars.


Home-based pensions implement “menu-style” services
In Australia, the government does not directly participate in the specific services of home-based care, and implements government-led (making regulations, policies, financial support), private operations, and social support services.
Australian home care service organizations are mainly composed of the following organizations: one is founded by the church; the other is founded by non-profit civil organizations; the third is founded by enterprises, and the minority is founded by private individuals. After the establishment of these service organizations, they must be approved by the relevant government departments. After professional evaluation, they can carry out home care services and obtain government subsidies.
According to the characteristics of the elderly, the service organization has designed the content of the elderly home care service project in a targeted manner, and implements a “menu-style” service when the service is launched. What services are provided by the elderly and what services are provided. Generally speaking, there are several major categories: first, medical care services; second, personal care services (including: bathing, dressing, serving, helping to eat, etc.); third, housekeeping services (including: cleaning, cutting grass, Washing the ground, etc.; Fourth, spiritual comfort services (including: accompanying chat, reading, etc.); five is travel services (including accompanying doctors) and so on.


Have professional qualifications to engage in home care services
The Australian government’s management of elderly home care services is very strict, requiring people with professional qualifications to perform this work. There are many educational institutions throughout Australia that train home care workers. After the government has reviewed and approved these professional education and training institutions, the government will provide certain funding and grant qualifications for issuing certificates.
For each student who is admitted to the school, the government grants different financial subsidies according to their economic situation, usually in the hundreds of Australian dollars. The syllabus for training is issued by the government and a unified industry standard is implemented throughout Australia. Education and training institutions pay great attention to the training of students’ operational ability.

Training courses are divided into three main categories. First, familiar with the entire industry. Includes basic information on services for the elderly, the disabled, and elderly patients. The second is the familiarity with the working environment. Including how to communicate with the client, the use of the computer, the use of different functions of the phone, the use of basic household appliances, and so on. The third is the professional ability to provide services to customers. Including housekeeping, personal cleaning, travel services and entertainment, emotional help, and more. After the trainees pass the training and examination, the training institution will issue a qualification certificate universally issued throughout Australia, and the qualification certificate will be used for the on-the-job service.

In addition to full-time home care workers, there are many volunteers in Australia who serve the elderly. Australia has a dedicated volunteer association to organize volunteer service activities. It is understood that there are more than 4 million people in Australia who are engaged in volunteer service. The annual service hours are more than 700 million, and the compensation can be as high as 42 billion Australian dollars. Volunteers help the elderly in the home care service: provide dining services for wheelchair elderly, provide medical services for sick elderly, and provide pet service for disabled elderly. Volunteers believe that they provide daily life services for some elderly people with special difficulties, which is a kind of personal contribution to society. In order to ensure the safety of volunteers in the work of home care services, volunteer organizations also purchase accident insurance for volunteers who work. Volunteers engaged in home care services are organized by volunteer associations, and the employment agencies carry out specific management. Most volunteers are very willing to volunteer for the elderly in this community.


Old-age pension for the elderly with financial difficulties is subsidized by the government
Australia is a high-welfare country, and the government guarantees the social security of the elderly. The federal government and the state government jointly undertake the funding guarantee for the elderly home care service. In general, the proportion of commitment is 60% for the federal government and 40% for the state government. 80% of these fees are allocated by the municipal government and 20% are allocated by the church and other NGOs. Local governments report the use of funds to the state government every year. Specific regulations and standards are required for the use of each service fee. In the past few years, the federal government spent an annual amount of 600 million to 700 million Australian dollars for elderly home care services. In addition to 20% of the elderly in Australia, they are not rich in government subsidies. Other senior citizens can enjoy the government’s economic subsidy of around 30 yuan per hour according to the economic income. The personal responsibility is no more than 10 yuan, and the minimum is only 3 yuan. For some elderly people with particularly difficult economic conditions, the government subsidizes them in full.


Home care service allows immigrants to return to their homes
Australia is an immigrant country with more than 100 ethnic groups. In recent years, millions of people have settled in Australia, and Asians in Australia have more than doubled in 10 years. In Melbourne, there are some communities where people from all over the world live. In these communities, the government encourages them to set up civil society organizations to provide home care services for the elderly in the community. For example, the Italian Welfare Association is a service agency that specializes in home care for the elderly. In Australia, Italians are the largest immigrant group without English, and Melbourne is the center of Italians living in Australia. It is understood that the Welfare Association has set up an Italian service agency to organize professionals to carry out various home care services for the elderly in Italy. The service agency’s funding mainly comes from three aspects: one is the Australian federal government and the state government’s funding; the second is the support of the Italian government; the third is social fundraising. The early Italian government’s funding was the main source, and now only accounts for 20%. The Welfare Association applies for funding to the Australian government every year to increase the amount of funding and increase the number of services for the elderly.



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