NATSIAACC’s Directors met with senior officials from the Australian Department of Health to press for tailored programs that support older Aboriginal people. The Government has been trying to develop a new Support at Home program but trials have found that assessments tools and processes have not been appropriate for Aboriginal people. NATSIAACC recommended use of assessment tools that have been designed for Aboriginal people, such as the Good Spirit Good Life tool.
NATSIAACC also raised concerns that the National Disability Insurance Agency is pushing Aboriginal people under the age of 65 to be removed from residential aged care facilities, even though Aboriginal people are eligible for residential aged care from the age of 50. There is no capacity in the mainstream NDIS system to provide appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and some clients and families are distraught at their relatives being asked to move.
NATSIAACC asked whether the Government has plans to expand the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Flexible Program. The Royal Commission recommended expansion because it nearly completely serves remote areas only, while most Aboriginal people live in urban and regional areas, but the Department of Health advise that there were no current plans to expand the program.