Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers represent the 500,000 children who spent time in institutional and out of home care as children and who experienced significant abuse while in care.
Now older, they experience barriers to care due to past trauma – particularly in relation to residential care.
Real care second time around
South Australian aged care provider Helping Hand Aged Care has developed the Real Care The Second Time Around project is to respond to the aged care needs of Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers, in order to help providers give targeted support to these members of our community.
The project acknowledges the care that this group did not receive – the first time around – taking into account the effects of childhood trauma on adulthood and how they impact people as they age.
It uses Trauma Informed Training based on stories from Forgotten Australians and including stories as videos and case-scenarios to provide information and guidance to the age services industry. The training provides a foundation from which to understand this vulnerable group.
Educating the industry
Helping Hand has been funded until 2021 to trial a range of initiatives that create a service model for working with Forgotten Australians. Part of this trial will be the use of Trauma Informed Training, resource development, staff training, training for Forgotten Australians in understanding aged care, development of videos, changes to intake/admission processes to encompass this risk of vulnerability group (who have not been included in intake processes). Together, all of the above represent a suite of actions that will be trialled as a model of care for this group. The project is being evaluated by Flinders University.
The project will run workshops in 2021 around one-page-profiles for Forgotten Australians to enable them to document their support needs based on their individual ‘stories’. These profiles will form part of their care plans from CHSP through to residential (as well as hospital and other aged care junctures). CHSP and residential staff will also be provided with training to create continuity of care and an understand of the benefits of one-page-profiles.
Helping Hand has developed a guide for service providers to help them understand the barriers to care for Forgotten Australians. These booklets have been downloaded and/or sent to a wide range of providers.
Workshops on Power of Attorney/advanced care planning/aged care and disability have been and will be provided to Forgotten Australians to help them understand end-of-life issues as well as how to navigate My Aged Care and aged care services.
Helping Hand has been in consultation with the Department of Health through the Canberra Institute of Technology to develop a stand-alone training module to ensure that all aged care assessors are aware of this group’s history and their needs.
Inclusive aged care
By focusing on the unique care needs of Forgotten Australians, and providing information and resources to help them navigate aged care, as well as information and resources to help aged care providers understand these specific care needs, Helping Hand is supporting a truly inclusive, person-centred experience of aged care.
Helping Hand Aged Care was a Finalist in the innovAGEING Increasing Access to Care and Services Award 2020.