Carers from across the Upper Spencer Gulf came together at the Standpipe Golf Motor Inn on Thursday, July 12 to gain practical information and speak about the challenges faced by regional carers.
Carers SA hosted the forum to gain an understanding of issues within the community, which will be compiled along with information gathered from visits to its six other regional bases.
Carers SA CEO David Militz said the information would then be presented to government.
“The best outcome for us is for our local team, led by Cephas Stanley, to get a really good feel for what local issues for carers are and how they can support them,” he said.
“The aim is to get the local issues here and put those together with issues from our other regions, find some common threads, then go to government and say ‘this is what carers are struggling with, here are the challenges, lets talk about some solutions for that’.”
Carers in the region provide unpaid care to family members or friends who are at a frail age, have a disability or are struggling with drug or alcohol-related issues.
Local carers discussed the difficulty in navigating through My Aged Care – an aged care information and services provider – at the forum.
One of the other major issues has been confusion surrounding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which was rolled out in October 2017.
NDIS, Centrelink and Medicare representatives were all present at the forum to provide clarity regarding these issues.
The Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS), which will be introduced in September 2019, was also explained at the event.
Initiated by federal government, ICSS has been developed to improve the wellbeing and long-term outcomes for carers across the country.
“Sometimes carers are going to four different organisations to get services for themselves,” Mr Militz said.
“That might be counselling, respite, one-on-one support and advocacy. They have to go to a different organisation for each of those services.
“What the new model will do is pull all those services into a central point.”