There really is no place like home

Aspire4Life is honoured to be playing an important role in the trial of a new Government program, designed to empower older Australians so they can remain active and independent.

Evidence suggests that the vast majority of ageing Australians wish to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Emotionally this can have many benefits, however as time goes on, physical tasks can become more demanding and challenging.  

The Commonwealth Home Support Program’s reablement trial aligns with the Aspire4Life philosophy of genuinely improving people’s lives. The cornerstone of the $29 million trial is the implementation of new ‘active assessments.’ We believe that an active life, is a good life and this new assessment module is designed to observe people in their homes as they go about their daily routines.

The new assessments aim to overcome issues with more static Q&A style formats, where older Australians can tend to over-estimate or under-estimate their ability to perform tasks. By adopting the in-home ‘Show Me’ approach, the Aspire4Life assessors who are part of the trial get a better overall picture of a person’s capabilities.

With the aim to improve functional independence, social participation and quality of life for clients, Aspire4Life has been chosen to roll out the reablement trial across four regions in New South Wales – the Southern Highlands, Illawarra, Mid North Coast and New England. 

Rachael Jokinen, one of the Apsire4Life Home Support Assessors trained to carrying out the trial, is impressed with the program’s goal to empower clients. “The language used during these assessments is aimed at reinforcing active aging and the benefits of remaining independent and improving independence in all aspects of the client’s life including physical, social and cognitive,” said Rachael. “During the active assessment we are drawing from a strength based approach, while observing the client as they complete a range of common tasks inside and outside of the home.”

With the hands-on approach the assessor is able to step in when barriers are observed, working collaborative with the client on strategies to simplify a task – while also performing a risk assessment. “The focus of every active assessment is on wellness and because the approach is centred around the client, the reablement process is also directed and achieved by the client to help build their confidence,” said Rachael. “And when necessary, short-term services can also be recommended to support clients with improving their independence.”

“In my opinion the reablement trial has the ability to shake up the current aged care system and to provide an opportunity for clients to regain their power, confidence, mobility and resilience,” added Rachael. Aspire4Life has always believed that every client is on amazing unique journey and it’s our privilege to support their overall health and well-being, and to see the positive impact it can have on all areas of their life. 

At the same time the trial is also proving to be a positive experience for assessors. “To support someone in achieving their own goal and hearing how happy they are, especially when they thought they were becoming dependent, is incredibly moving,” said Rachael.

In April, Aspire 4 Life were privileged to represent the reablement trial and demonstrate an in home active assessment with Minister Wyatt of Western Australia observing.  Minister Wyatt was very impressed with his observations and is looking forward to the results from the evaluations.  Minister Wyatt also stated that he would like to see this process within residential facilities also.

For the Government, and aged care service organisations, the trial has the potential to support Australia’s aging population, while also managing the impact it will have on the economy. By working closely with Access Care Network Australia, it is Aspire4Life’s hope that the trial will lead to the increased availability of reablement services which support our older Australians in redefining what’s possible.

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