4 Steps to Accessing the Aged Care You Want 

Michelle McCall - Aged & Disability Care Program Manager
Michelle McCall – Aged & Disability Care Program Manager

Supporting the elders in our community  

Larrakia Nation is the largest provider of aged care services in Darwin with over 170 clients. We offer a variety of support services to assist not only our First Australians, but all elderly to remain living independent and in their homes for as long they choose.

Michelle McCall is the Aged and Disability Care Program Manager explains Aged Care eligibility, costs and how to access care.

Aged Care is about care the way you want 

Aged and residential care has come a long way. There was a misconception that aged care was about somebody doing everything for you because you are unable to support yourself. In fact, aged care is all about wellness, empowerment and reablement that supports people living independently and providing individual care tailored to your needs.

Michelle explains how, “it’s so important to keep people in their homes for as long as possible where they feel supported and can access personalised services that improve their daily needs. Sometimes that is social days, social interactions, transport to medical appointments or case management needs. We can provide support that makes your everyday life a little better. It can be things like cleaning the floors or assisting with taking medication”.

Who can access aged care?

Larrakia Nation provides aged care services to First Australians who are at least fifty years old and  anyone else who is 65 years old, or over, who has difficulties in doing the essential activities of daily living.

Some people find it hard to ask for help. They might say things like ‘it’s fine’ or ‘don’t worry’, but if you, or a loved one needs support Michelle and her team of highly skilled carers are here to help and the good news is they are very good at it.

What are the steps to accessing aged care? 

If you have been thinking about aged care for yourself, or someone else, these are the steps you need to consider:

  1. Visit your local GP (doctor) to discuss your situation.
  2. Phone ‘My Aged Care’ on 1800 200 422 to talk through your needs.
  3. Contact an aged care provider, like Larrakia Nation. They can help guide you through the whole process. This can be in person or on the phone at 8948 3733.
  4. Access ‘Aged Care Navigator’. In Darwin this is administered through COTA NT, their phone number is 8941 1004.

Providers will help you to determine the types of packages required that offer flexibility and responsiveness to individual needs. This could include the Home Care Packages (HCP), or the basic Commonwealth Home Support Packages (CHSP).

How much does it cost? 

Approved providers, such as Larrakia Nation, are only paid a subsidy for their services. This doesn’t cover costs, so a client contribution is needed to help us to cover our costs associated with providing individual care.

It is worrying to hear that the subsidy hasn’t increased for years, aside from indexed increases. Therefore client contributions are so important to ensure services are delivered to meet the needs of the client.

Contributions can be from as little as $7.50 an hour, plus meals which includes delivery. Individual hours will vary so Michelle and her team can talk with you about what your needs will require.

Larrakia Nation expanding its aged care services

Larrakia Nation is the largest aged care provider in Darwin who work with over 170 clients from Darwin to Howard Springs. There is a real need to expand and provide access to a greater package of services to a larger region.

An investigation is underway to determine the level of expansion, with over 100 clients already identified in the greater Darwin region. This is also examining a specific support package for Larrakia people.