National community-owned aged care provider, IRT Group has received a $1.4 million grant from the Australian Government to support cutting-edge innovation in Indigenous aged care.
Together with Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community & Medical Services, IRT will co-design and pilot a new culturally-sensitive home care service in the Eurobodalla.
“The Integrated Aboriginal Home Care project aims to better meet the needs of a growing ageing Indigenous population by improving access to government-funded home care, providing a new choice in culturally-sensitive care, and creating new job-pathways for young Indigenous people,” said IRT at Home CEO, Gy Wallace.
IRT is one of 42 aged care providers to be awarded a portion of the $34 million Dementia and Aged Care Service (DACS) funding, a grants scheme that prioritises Indigenous aged care as one of six key issues.
“We’re delighted to receive this funding to co-design and pilot an innovative home care service for Indigenous people with Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community & Medical Services,” Mr Wallace said.
“We’ll find out what home care services are currently available, explore barriers to Indigenous people benefiting from Consumer Directed Care, and ask how we can better support them to age in place in their communities.
“The next steps will involve developing a new home care service that’s staffed by Indigenous school-leavers trained by IRT College.
“We’ll then share our learnings and see what else we can do to improve access to culturally sensitive home care services.”
As a community-owned organisation with a reputation for innovation, IRT is well equipped to deliver the community-based and community-led approach to Indigenous aged care by June 2018.
“IRT was established almost 50 years ago by a group of likeminded people who thought they could provide seniors with better options in housing and care,” said Mr Wallace.
“Questioning the status quo is in our DNA, and now the Indigenous community will benefit from IRT’s innovative, consumer-focussed approach to aged care.”
An IRT spokesperson said the exact location of the care homes had not yet been determined but would be decided as part of the planning design phase which will be conducted in collaboration with Katungul.
So it’s most likely the facilities will be in regions within Katungul’s area of operation where there is the largest number of Aboriginal people in the aged demographic, she said.