My Aged Care (MAC) is an Australian Government website and phone line established to help seniors find out what support services may be available to help you with your day to day activities. Australian seniors aged 65 and over may be eligible for a range of support services. You can contact MAC on 1800 200 422 as the first step in the process of accessing services.
Talking about support services and your personal situation over the phone can be challenging for everyone. It is important to accurately describe your circumstances during this phone call. You do not help yourself by putting on a brave face and saying everything is alright when it is not. It is not unusual for seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse background to miss out on services because of this. You may want to have your carer or family member with you during this call.
In this article we will list several things you need to know in order to prepare for the communication with MAC.
- Allocate sufficient time for the call and ensure there is no disturbance
- Ensure a support person is available to be present during the phone call if needed (this can be a carer, friend, family member, professional like Access and Support Worker etc.)
- Try to locate a multicultural organisation that may be able to support you (if that is what you need) and ask if they have Access and Support/Specialised Support Services
- Prepare information like Medicare Card, information regarding your personal situation, living arrangements, date of birth, medical conditions that are impacting your independence and have them ready so you can refer to this during the call
- If you speak a language other than English you can ask for government funded interpreters and MAC will organise an interpreter over the phone
- You can state to MAC representative that you have a preferred service provider if any
- You can ask a support person to be listed as a representative (you need to give consent that person to be registered as your representative)
- Based on your answers (support needs) MAC may send a referral for Home Assessment or Comprehensive Aged Care Assessment
- The assessor will call you and arrange time for a face to face assessment
- You can ask for a government funded interpreter during the face to face assessment
- The assessor may give approvals for services
- You have the right to select your preferred service provider (you can choose who provides you with care)
- The assessor may issue direct referrals to service providers or they may generate a referral code and you can contact service providers
Note: This article is a summary of what is useful to know prior contacting MAC. You may be asked additional questions during MAC screening process. For more information you can contact our organisation on 8371 2304, or the visit the MAC web page: www.myagedcare.gov.au
Team Leader – Australian Multicultural Community Services Inc.