As announced last week, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) service providers are now able to use unspent 2019‑20 funding to purchase up to $1000 worth of personal monitoring technology for their vulnerable clients in need of this support during COVID-19. This is important for older Australians and their informal carers and family who are self-isolating to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19, thereby reducing their support and social connectedness.
Home Care Package care recipients will also be able to use their packages to access personal monitoring services to keep them safe at home.
A range of technology options are available in the private market, and the Department does not recommend any particular brand or device. CHSP service providers will need to source the monitoring equipment themselves with a view to accessing equipment that best meets the needs of the client. The Department of Health notes that in Australia the relevant Standard for personal monitoring technology is AS 4607 (personal response systems). This Standard specifies the minimum performance, design and operation requirements for telecommunications based personal response systems.
CHSP providers, funded to provide social support individual or group), can use grant funds to purchase IT, such as tablets, smart devices, and internet subscriptions to help connect older people to their family, carers and social groups under existing CHSP grant rules. This is not an option at the moment for CHSP providers not funded to provide social support.
To help Home Care Package recipients stay connected with loved ones and their community, Package funds can also be used to:
- Purchase suitable digital technology and video conferencing equipment that meet their needs
- Access assistance in setting up and learning how to use the technology.