April 6, 2023

What's-Short-Term-Restorative-Care

How to restore your wellbeing and independence at home

Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) is a clinically led program aimed at reversing and/or slowing functional decline in older people who are living at home. This program falls under the flexible care program, within the wider aged care program.

The other flexible care program that is similar to Short-Term Restorative Care is the Transition Care Program. Both of these programs are designed to help people who want improved wellbeing and independence to continue living in their own home.

What is a clinically led program?

A clinically led program means that a range of clinicians (allied health providers) will become involved in assessing, managing and supporting you through the program, so you'll have the best chance of regaining your function and restoring your independence.

You can also receive non-clinical support when you're on this program, like domestic help or yard maintenance, but the intent of this program is to optimise your ability to regain independence, so clinical involvement is required.

How do I access these programs?

Access to this program is, like all other Commonwealth subsidised aged care programs, via My Aged Care.

The Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) approve this program.

When considering a person's eligibility for STRC, the ACAT assessors will be looking to see if three clinicians could be involved in a person's care plan. The different clinicians that might be considered include Nurses, Occupational Therapists (OT), Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists (EP), Dieticians, Podiatrists, Speech Pathologists, Psychologists, Social Workers and massage therapists.

Sometimes an ACAT assessor will tell me that these services can be delivered under other programs. It's possible, but not to the level that it can be with STRC. This program provides access to specialised clinicians that other programs may not have. This results in much better outcomes for you, the recipient. That's the benefit of this program.

STRC is delivered over eight weeks or 56 days. Once the program starts, it's a very busy time with all those clinicians coming to your home and making recommendations. The program is funded well to cover the cost of these clinicians. The daily subsidy as of 1st July 2023 is $243.92 per day.

I've been involved with STRC for many years.

When I'm considering what a person's functional needs are, what they would like to achieve, and how they could benefit from a range of specialist clinicians, I'm looking to refer to clinicians who people might not have access to under any other program, particularly if they are receiving clinical support under the entry level program, the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

One client who recently completed STRC had five different clinicians within her STRC program, three of these being OTs who specialised in different aspects of day-to-day function.

This lady had included in her STRC care plan:

An OT who completed a driving assessment with her, an OT who specialised in hand therapy and a general OT to complete a home environment assessment for equipment and devices to help her at home. This equipment was paid for under the STRC package.

She also had an EP come to her home each week for the eight weeks, to assess her abilities, develop a personalised exercise program, then supervise her to follow this program. This helped her regain strength and balance with her mobility.

A specialist podiatrist completed an assessment of her feet and gait and recommended purchasing orthotic inserts and shoes (which were paid for under STRC) that enhanced her stability. This led to improvements in her mobility.

One of the things I love about STRC is that nearly anyone could be considered eligible for the program. If an older person is experiencing a functional decline, if their mobility is becoming impaired, if they have lost the strength to complete their activities of daily living and they want to restore their wellbeing and continue to remain independent, STRC could be the program to support them to do this.

Case Study - Shirley, here's what Shirley had to say about her experience in the STRC program

"I am an 83 year old woman.

I had a stroke 7 years ago which left me partly paralysed on my left side, my left hand and arm were numb and also my left leg.

I am left handed and could hardly do anything with the arm. My children organised for me to be reviewed by Coral Wilkinson. I saw Coral for two hours in my home and she was able to make up an eight week package for me, and the 8 week plan included: A Hand Therapist who I went to once a week and also exercises to do at home. A physiologist who came to my house and supervised exercises to do during the week as well as doing exercises in the pool, a driving assessment, a podiatrist that realised that I needed a support for my left inner side of foot and had one made to put in my shoes.

They supplied me with a fall detection watch to alert people when I fell over.

This eight weeks of therapy has been amazing, my entire left side of my body is feeling so much better, I can now lift my arm above my head (I previously couldn't lift it above my shoulder).

I feel more balanced. I am extremely thankful to Coral for referring me to these people who have helped me get back to some form of normality. I have joined Aqua Aerobics and a chair exercise program, I feel alive again.

I had no idea these services were available to me. Thank you Coral".

Short Term Restorative Care is an excellent program that allows people support from a range of clinicians, particularly those clinicians who aren't available under any other aged care or health program. This program positions people to improve aspects of their daily activities and allows them to be independent for as long as possible.

If you think this program might be something you'd be eligible for, or you have an older loved one who you think would benefit from being approved for this program but you're not sure how to go about getting assessed and approved, book a Let's Talk Consultation with us and we'll explain what you need to do.

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