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There is more than one answer to the problems of aged care

Supplier: CareWell Health
14 October, 2008

The huge bulge in Australia's demographic outlook means that policy makers are going to need to be as creative as possible in finding solutions for caring for the elderly.

The good news is that this means even more choices for people who are looking at aged care.

"The Australian Commonwealth Government has continued to expand the community aged care package program (CACPS), which allows people to grow old in their own home and have help come to them," says Jason Falinski, the managing director of CareWell.

"This program has been very popular with policy makers, community advocates, healthcare workers and most importantly the elderly.

"It allows people to stay in touch with their community and their community with them. It also relieves some of the financial pressure that the community is going to have bear over the next few decades, as it avoids the large capital cost of building and buying residential aged care facilities.

Nursing homes offer a level of medical attention that is just below that of a hospital. While they do not, for instance, provide surgery, nursing homes are arranged to give intensive, around the clock medical care.

Residents generally stay in single rooms that resemble hospital rooms arranged  along hallways similar to hospital wards. Because nursing homes can feel like hospitals, some people prefer not to spend long periods of time in them.

Therefore, some are choosing the developing alternatives.

"This type of care (CACPS) requires special solutions that are not currently in the market place. Too many providers assume that the answer of at home aging is to provide more of the same, but at a higher price.

"Carewell, just as an example, allows elderly people to rent the equipment, after a period they end up owning it, and we contemplate trade ins on most items to help defray the costs."

There are alternatives to nursing homes in some cases, say advoctes, but simply deciding not to use nursing homes less does not necessarily  mean that those in need will find their ways to alternatives more often.