Navigating the “aged care maze”

From the moment we are born, we strive for independence. We learn to move around by ourselves, to feed and care for ourselves, to earn a living, raise a family and to establish our own place in the world. The ageing process is, in some ways, a reversal of this lifelong drive for independence. In learning to accept assistance with moving around, feeding or looking after ourselves, we must also face some of our deepest fears and anxieties.


For some, the need for assistance may be short-lived, such as when someone returns home from a stay in hospital and requires a short period of support, for example with showering and wound care. Usually, they will soon recover to lead full and independent lives.

For others, however, it may be longer-lasting: for example, requiring on-going personal support and assistance with heavier house and garden work due to changing physical abilities.

Home Nursing Group has been providing care at home for older people since 1985. We have learned that the process of identifying the need for support at home can be complicated by a number of factors, including:

  • The feelings of concern, anxiety, and/or denial of other family members observing a person’s ageing (children often find the fact of older parents very confronting)
  • Highly-charged emotions often arise from moments of crisis (for example, a hospital stay or the diagnosis of a major illness) that can make decision-making very challenging
  • Many people struggle to accept the need for support and resent those (whether loved ones or professionals) who try to advise them about it
  • Older people often tell us that they fear becoming a passive recipient of care, or a number in a system – no one wants to lose their individuality, their freedom to make choices, or their life experience and history

Adding to these difficulties, the Australian Government’s aged care support system can be very confusing, with constantly-changing rules and regulations. Information about what is available and how to access services is hard to find and difficult to understand. Even Commonwealth Government Ministers and civil servants have been known to admit that they find the system a “maze”.

Precisely when it can be most difficult to make informed choices, at a time when older people and their families are feeling vulnerable and worried, they must gather and work through large amounts of information to make decisions about life and care that can have profound impacts on their health and well-being.

Home Nursing Group understands how difficult it can be to “navigate the aged care maze”.

Since 1985, we have provided over 500,000 hours of care and support for more than 10,000 older people. We want to share our experience and insights with you. Our team is available by phone or in person at our offices in Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Tamworth to listen to you, to answer any questions you may have, or provide advice on some of the choices facing you and your loved ones as you consider aged care.

We are happy to chat at any time, without any obligation and at no cost to you.

We are committed to supporting you and your choices in the best way for you. We want to help you maintain or regain your independence; stay in the home you love; and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Please call us on 1300 698 693. Don’t let the maze overwhelm you. We are here to help.


Gorm Kirsch

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