An Aged Care Peer Champion is someone who can give you practical assistance in navigating the My Aged Care system. These Peer Champions are facilitated by COTA SA and funded by Country SA PHN.
These trusted and trained local Aged Care Peer Champions will assist you to access the information you need and help you navigate the My Aged Care system. Free assistance is available over the telephone initially, and a local Peer Champion can meet with you face to face if required. In our regions we are lucky enough to have a Peer Champion in the Yorke Peninsula.
To give you more of an idea, below is an interview with our Kadina Peer Champion Su Bell, who is also one of our customers.This interview was taken from the One COTA March-May 2018 Magazine.
My Aged Care Support Program - Interview with volunteer Aged Care Peer Champion in Kadina
Su Bell is volunteering for COTA SA in her local community of Upper Yorke Peninsula as an Aged Care Peer Champion. Su is providing one-one-one support to individuals who are 65 years or older with navigating and understanding the My Aged Care (MAC) systems. She is one of six Aged Care Peer Champions recruited by COTA SA in mid-2017. Champions are currently located in four regional areas of South Australia; Yorke Peninsula, Murray Mallee Fleurieu Peninsula and the Mid North.
Su was recently interviewed by Helen Morley, My Aged Care Support program Project Officer.
Q- Su, why were you interested in taking on the role of Aged Care Peer Champion for your community?
We are an ageing population and a lot of people are not computer savvy, and some are even frightened by computers or making a call themselves, so I thought I could assist them. Also I know a lot of older people are on their own and have no assistance. I wanted to spread the word and get as many people registered with MAC as I possibly can so they can get the help they need.
Q- What support are you actually providing to people?
I am assisting people 65 or over to enrol themselves in MAC and to ‘walk through’ the MAC website and systems to show them the services available in their area. These may be services they require now or even at a later date.
Q- Tell us what the highlights of your role are? Being able to bring relief to people and to stop then worrying. Seeing the relief on people’s faces when I show them how simple the process is has been really rewarding.
Q- Have you encountered any challenges along the way?
Convincing some people that they don’t have to go into a nursing home, and sharing that the Commonwealth Home Support program and Home Care Packages available via MAC are there to assist them maintaining their independence so they can continue to live in their own home; which of course is what most of us really wish.
Q- What would be your message to people reading this who are finding it difficult to understand and or navigate the MAC systems? Take a deep breath, take your time, give it a try, use the MAC phone service and have a pencil & paper nearby to make notes… and if all else fails, give me or someone else you know a call to guide you!
Q- Can you share some of the feedback you have received from the people you have supported?
I have received many gratifying comments, here are just a few:
• Easy, I didn’t realise it would be so simple.
• Thank you, I couldn’t have done it as quickly without you.
• Another job crossed off my list.
• This is a great service, we need to tell the Government what a great thing it is. (Peer Champion MAC Support)
Thank you, Su, for sharing your Peer Champion experiences. If you are in Yorke Peninsula you can contact Su Bell on 0448 496 385 for free MAC support via the phone or in person.
Are you living in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Murray Mallee or the Mid North?
Please call COTA SA on 08 8232 0422 to find who your local Aged Care Peer Champion is.
Are you living outside all these regions?
Regardless of your location, you are encouraged to call My Aged Care directly on 1800 200 422 where you will be assisted through the process of registering. If you prefer online, visit www.myagedcare.gov.au
COTA SA gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from Country SA PHN and the Australian Government Department of Health.
If you would like to know more about Su Bell, then follow this link and see our client article about her and her amazing work.