My Aged Care was established in 2013 by the federal government as a ‘one-stop aged care shop’. It has been such an unmitigated disaster that six years after it was introduced, an Aged Care System Navigator was developed to help people ‘navigate’ the aged care system. The absurdity of needing a second service to assist people to use the first service brings to mind an episode of Utopia.
‘Navigate’ has become the new buzzword in aged care. The first discussion paper from the Royal Commission was titled: Navigating the maze: an overview of Australia’s current aged care system. But it was not a maze when local councils, the Royal district nursing service and other not-for-profit and for-profit organisations delivered services to older people in their home.
How did the aged care system become so complex that older people and their family need help to navigate it?
First published as a letter to The Age