Posted by Ian FAIRNIE
Mercy Care is a Social Enterprise, one of around 50 providers offering services to older people in the Perth metropolitan area, as well as disability services and child care in addition to aged care. Sam Spiro is the Business Development Manager shared her experience from Mercy Care’s Aged Care Services.  
Ray Philp and Samantha Spiro at Applecross Rotary
Ray Philp and guest speaker Samantha Spiro
She is a graduate nurse from Curtin University whose particular clinical field was incontinence management before she headed overseas for further experience and training.  A Master’s degree in management saw her transition into medical sales in the UK. However she felt the call to come home to join Mercy Care.

The Aged Care sector includes Retirement villages and 24/7 Aged Care Centres (Nursing Homes) but in-between is the most important and rapidly growing area of Community Care at Home.  The mental health outcomes are much better with people living in their own homes, and it’s much cheaper too.

Community Care can be Low Care - known in the business as HACC, Home and Community Care, where, after assessment, access is available to a range of services such as cleaning, gardening, minor repairs, for $8 per hour for those who can afford it, or nothing if the can’t.

Beyond that are four levels of Homecare packages which provide from $7000 to $50,000 per year.  Seniors are assessed at one of these four levels of Community Care needs by an Aged Care Assistance Team, known as ACAT of course!

The Federal Government has been overwhelmed by demand for Community Care.  There are currently 104,000 people on the waiting list, and the wait is over 12 months.

Sam’s advice - stop procrastinating guys (and it’s nearly always the men that say the don’t need it) and get assessed.

A lively Q&A followed Sam’s presentation continuing after the Tuesday 5 June meeting finished.  Many members have had poor quality experiences accessing aged care for parents so it was good to hear that many of the providers, like Mercy Care, are providing high quality services these days.