Aged Care Residents

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History of the Psychology in Aged Care (PAC) Well-being Program

Most Australians are unaware that historically older people living in aged care have had limited access to psychology services unless they had the financial resources. Medicare rebates to see psychologists are not available to people living in aged care and the industry is not funded to provide psychology services to their residents.

As a result, Change Futures decided to offer free services in 2015 as the rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thinking are higher in this group than in the general community. These services were offered for free for nearly two years to St Vincent’s at Mitchelton and in 2017, St Vincent’s Care Services decided to fund these services across all of its facilities in south east Queensland in Gympie, Maroochydore, Mitchelton, Bardon, Kangaroo Point, Toowoomba, Southport and Arundel.

The Brisbane North Primary Health Network also commissioned Change Futures to provide low intensity mental health services to residential aged care facilities in the region. This funding continued until December 2018.

In 2018, the Commonwealth Government announced funding for psychological services in residential aged care and Change Futures is now delivering the Psychology in Aged Care (PAC) Well-being program from Kilcoy and Bribie Island to Grafton in northern NSW.

In all, 35 provisional psychologists supervised by fully registered psychologists provide services to residents such as individual counselling and support groups.

Reviews in April 2018 and June 2019 of the outcomes of the program demonstrated clinically significant reductions in depression, anxiety and psychological distress; clinically significant improvements in life satisfaction and very high levels of satisfaction with the service rated by residents.

Services Now

Change Futures is currently delivering services in 68 residential aged care facilities in Brisbane North, the Gold Coast and northern NSW. A referral form is available on this website or alternatively you can contact our Intake team Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm or email racmentalhealth@changefutures.org.au

Contact numbers: Brisbane 07 3153 1093  Gold Coast/Tweed Heads 07 5648 0424                                                  NSW 02 5624 7019 or mobile 0421 493 273