Aged care

The WA Country Health Service is committed to the aged care network model of care for the older person in Western Australia and helping to promote independence, well being and quality of life for older people living in country communities. Aged care units have been established in each health region to strengthen the coordination and delivery of aged care services.

Ageing population

In 2012, 12% of the state's population were aged 65 years and over. Within WA Country Health Service regions, the largest proportion of people aged 65 years and over are in the Great Southern area (16%). In contrast, the Pilbara and the Kimberley had only 2% and 5% of their respective populations in this age group.

Service provision

A range of services and programs for older people are available in WACHS regions. These services include Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT), permanent residential aged care (high and low care) and community based services that include Home and Community Care (HACC) and Home Care Packages and respite services. Visiting Geriatrician and Psycho-Geriatrician Specialist services are also available in all regions.

Whilst the provision of residential aged care is the responsibility of the Australian Government, in some small towns where private residential aged care facilities are not viable the WA Country Health Service provides "flexible care places". These are known as Multi Purpose Services (MPS).

Target population

The target population for aged care services includes:

  • Aboriginal people 45 years and older
  • Non-Aboriginal people 65 years and over
  • Carer and families
  • People living in residential aged care
  • Older people living in the community
  • Older people in hospital who may need assistance in returning home.

Future directions

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) aged care is focused on improving aged care services within the regions and promoting age friendly service provision. Current strategies include:

  • Developing and implementing a sustainable aged care quality review program for WACHS residential aged care including Multi Purpose Services
  • Expanding sub acute care services, including rehabilitation, within the regions
  • Strengthening the follow up of older people with complex care needs who present to regional hospital emergency departments.

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