Ivan, a migrant to Australia, lived in the home he owned with his son, and his daughter lived in a granny flat on the same property.
Ivan’s wife had recently passed away and he was still grieving over her loss. He wanted to move into a nursing home but with limited English language skills and being hard-of-hearing it was difficult for him to arrange.
Many older people from culturally diverse backgrounds face additional barriers to seeking help for elder abuse. These can include limited English skills, social isolation, dependency on family members and stigma and shame. When these barriers co-exist with increased physical ailments accessing help can be very difficult.
Additionally, when an older person loses their partner the grief can be overwhelming. The impatience of family members for an older person to come to terms with loss and make changes in their lives combined with the vulnerability brought on by grief can be a recipe for elder abuse.
Conflict existed between Ivan’s adult children and his daughter had taken a domestic violence order out against his son which had required him to move out of Ivan’s house. Ivan was distraught. Ivan was also concerned about a renovation of the granny flat his daughter was intending to carry out against his wishes.
Caxton Legal Centre’s lawyer and social worker team visited Ivan at home three times to assist him because telephone communication with an interpreter was too difficult in the face of Ivan’s hearing difficulties.
They arranged an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and provided Ivan with legal advice in relation to the conflict between his children. He also sought Caxton’s advice about Enduring Power of Attorney documents and his Will.
With Caxton’s support and the requisite ACAT assessment completed, Ivan moved into a nursing home. He has updated his Will and EPOA and now approaches the future confident that these essential documents reflect his needs.
Some considerations about residential aged care
There are two types of aged care arrangements for older people who are unable to care for themselves and who cannot (or do not want to) live with family or friends:
- residential aged care in a residential aged care home
- home care package, which allows people to remain in their own home whilst receiving in- home care.
There are four different levels of home care, each catering for a different level of home care needs:
- home care level 1: basic-level care needs
- home care level 2: low-level care needs
- home care level 3: intermediate care needs
- home care level 4: high-level care needs.
Some home care packages give you the flexibility to choose the types of services you want and how you want them delivered. An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) from the Department of Social Services can give free advice on what options an older person has. The ACAT can help work out a person’s needs and make a referral to the appropriate services. A doctor or hospital can make a referral to an ACAT, as can the person themselves.
Approval from an ACAT is required if a person plans to move into a residential aged care facility or is seeking a home care.
To make an appointment with the aged care assessment service please contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
The decision to enter an aged care facility and to remain there is made by the older person, unless the person has impaired decision-making capacity, in which substituted-decision making processes must be followed.
More information is available in Caxton’s fact sheet Residential Aged Care and Community Care Arrangements.
If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse contact Caxton Legal Centre on (07) 3214 6333.