Personal monitoring technology for senior Australians
Subsidised technology for senior Australians
Personal monitoring technology for Senior Australians
As announced by the Federal Government, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) service providers are now able to use unspent 2019‑20 funding to purchase up to $1000 worth of personal monitoring technology for their vulnerable clients in need of this support during
This is important for older Australians and their informal carers and family who are self-isolating to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19, thereby reducing their support and social connectedness. Older Australians in receipt of Home Care Packages will also be able to use their packages to access monitoring services.
Can all CHSP providers use unspent funding on personal monitoring technology?
Any CHSP provider with unspent funding in 2019-20 is able to use these funds to purchase personal monitoring technology if your personal health and safety is at risk during the COVID-19 crisis.
Who is eligible?
If you have an existing CHSP service and are living:
with dementia (who may be at risk of wandering or accidents);
with an elevated falls risk;
alone (or with family who could not help if an incident were to occur); or
limited or no family/friends to provide routine check-ins or support if required.
Can CHSP Providers purchase IT for social connection?
Under existing CHSP grant rules, providers can use grant funds to purchase IT such as tablets, smart devices, and internet subscriptions to help connect older people to their family, carers and social groups. This support should be capped at $500 per person per year (or up to $1,000 in exceptional circumstances) in accordance with CHSP arrangements for other aids, equipment and assistive technology. This is not an option at the moment for CHSP providers not funded to provide social support.
Who assesses the client’s need for personal monitoring technology?
CHSP providers should work with you to determine whether if you need and want to use personal monitoring technology. CHSP providers are accountable for determining your need. CHSP providers must not relinquish this responsibility to a personal monitoring system vendor.
You are able to approach your CHSP provider seeking personal monitoring technology due to COVID-19. In this situation, providers may help purchase personal monitoring technology.
This purchase does not require an aged care assessment.
If a provider does not have 2019-20 unspent funds to purchase personal monitoring technology, the provider should direct you to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. You can ask My Aged Care for a referral for a ‘COVID-19 personal monitoring system’. This will allow a CHSP provider with available 2019-20 unspent funds to accept the referral. This ensures clients whose usual provider does not have available 2019-20 unspent funds are not disadvantaged.
Providers should not provide a ‘COVID-19 personal alarm monitoring system’ to people who have already received a personal monitoring system.
What personal monitoring technology can be purchased and at what cost?
CHSP providers may access a range of different types of monitoring technology available in the private market. The Department does not recommend any particular brand or device. There may be a financial contribution required by clients depending on the technology chosen.
With your agreement, the CHSP providers may purchase up to $1000 worth of personal monitoring technology, including:
personal monitoring systems which, through the push of a button or automated technology, send an alert to a monitoring centre or family member in the case of an emergency, such as a fall or health crisis;
personal monitoring systems that monitor clients for changes in behavioural patterns and send alerts, that is, they are not only for alerts during emergencies such as a fall;
network access subscriptions and 24/7 monitoring services (for personal and home alarms) for up to 12 months (which must be purchased in 2019-20); and
technical training, initial set-up support and ongoing support for clients with their personal monitoring system.
CHSP service providers will need to source the monitoring equipment themselves with a view to accessing equipment that best meets the needs of the client. Systems may include those that monitor clients for changes in behavioural patterns and send alerts, that is, they are not only for alerts during emergencies such as a fall.
What does this mean for home care providers?
Home Care Package care recipients will also be able to use their packages to access personal monitoring services to keep them safe at home.
In addition to personal monitoring, to help care recipients stay connected with loved ones and their community, Home Care Package funds can also be used to:
Purchase suitable digital technology and video conferencing equipment that meets their needs; and
Access assistance in setting up and learning how to use the technology.
Home Care Package funds cannot be used for:
Phone and/or internet plans or
Entertainment activities, such as streaming subscriptions and paid apps.
Home care providers should:
Support this engagement with assistive technology through a discussion with your care recipient in line with the framework set out in the Home Care Packages Program Operational Manual: A guide for home care providers;
Assist care recipients to choose the care and support that best meet their goals, care needs and preferences within the limits of the resources available; and
Consider the reasonable costs and best use of Home Care Package funds when determining the type of equipment and range of functionality required (it is not generally expected that care recipients will require top-of-the-range equipment to stay connected).
Home Care Package care and services must be consistent with the Care Plan;
As care needs change while the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic unfold, you should review the Care Plan in consultation with care recipients;
The purchase of suitable equipment should be reflected in the Care Plan as being needed to meet care needs and goals; and
The Care Plan should also specify whether the equipment is leased, who owns it and who is responsible for any ongoing maintenance and repair costs.