Elderly people can often find themselves in vulnerable situations. Perhaps they’re living alone or trying to care for an elderly partner without family support. In these situations, asking for help and trying to organise is not always easy so other people involved in their care may need to step in to ensure they receive appropriate support.

A typical scenario is when a person’s doctor and the other health care professionals they see on a regular basis may be concerned their patient is not coping and would benefit from some extra help. In these circumstances, they can make a referral on behalf of their patient, so long as they have their consent to do so. 

Urgent Referrals

There may be circumstances where a GP, for instance, has concerns about their patient’s safety and wellbeing and decides they need immediate assistance. In these cases, they may have to refer them directly to an aged care service provider in the local area and ask them to provide urgent care, if able

Their patient may need urgent access to nursing or personal care and transport, for example. In situations involving urgent referrals, the services are generally available to the patient for a limited duration of around two weeks.

To arrange longer-term care, the care provider who has provided the ‘emergency services’ will refer the patient to My Aged Care and arrange for an assessment, on their behalf, so  ongoing care can be organised, if necessary.

When A Person Is Already Receiving Aged Care Support

If an elderly person is already receiving aged care support through their Home Care Package, for example, but their GP, or an aged care worker, believes they would benefit from additional support, they can contact My Aged Care and ask for details about the person’s current status and discuss their eligibility for a higher-level Home Care Package.  However, a care worker can only contact My Aged Care if they have their patient or client’s permission. If the person is not in a position to give permission, they will need to seek it through their legal representative.

Making An Online Referral

Anyone directly involved in the care of an elderly person, who has concerns about their health and safety, can make a referral to My Aged Care. There is a specific tool on the government’s website, ‘Making a Referral Tool, which can be used to do this-https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/make-a-referral.

 This tool is designed to be a relatively simple way for health and aged care workers to go online and fill out a referral form when they have concerns for a patient or client that need to be addressed quickly.