The access and support service is funded by the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) to assist people aged 65-plus (50-plus for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) to remain living at home and in their community.
Ms Spiewak provides free, confidential support for frail older people and their carers who have difficulty finding out about services or getting the services they need.
“The access and support service provides short-term support for frail older people and their carers who need help to stay living at home; have diverse needs; and need help to access services,” Ms Spiewak said.
“There is a huge array of things I can help with; no question is too small because you never know where it can lead you to.”
Ms Spiewak can meet people in their homes or in a public place to talk about their needs and goals, and what they need help with to stay safe and well at home. No referral is required to use the access and support service.
CHSP access and support officers assist carers and older residents who are Aboriginal, culturally and linguistically diverse, financially disadvantaged, have dementia, or live in an isolated area and have trouble accessing services.
Ms Spiewak said assistance may include registering or referring to My Aged Care; understanding what steps are involved to apply for a support service; completing paperwork; and thinking about questions to ask services or instructions for support workers.
“I can talk to people about the range of support services that are available in their area,” Ms Spiewak said.
“I can also help people with any applications if they need assistance, and if their circumstances change, I can help them reassess what they need.”
Ms Spiewak can work in partnership with anyone who supports older people such as their family, friends, community, doctor, and other health professionals.