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About this resource
This guide aims to support Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) providers to meet the needs and preferences of older people who are not well digitally connected, or who face digital communication challenges.
These issues came to the fore during the COVID-19 lockdowns which forced a rapid switch to digital platforms in many areas of health and social care. It is time now to take a considered look at how the sector can move forward on these issues.
To this end, the guide offers suggestions and tips to help decision-making on alternative means of communication, across digital and non-digital options.
The focus is not on the detail of specific technologies but on the broad approaches used by providers to work with their clients and their preferred modes of communication. It aims to be practical and consumer oriented.
The target is all those eligible for CHSP – older Australians aged 65 years plus or 50 plus for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – who may have low levels of digital connectivity and engagement and/or have a disability, low literacy or cultural differences that create challenges in using digital platforms.
The material presented here draws on a range of existing reports and policy documents, together with targeted consultation with older people in Victoria undertaken in early 2023.
While the guide is far from comprehensive, we hope it will prompt further exploration of these issues and respond to the interest many CHSP providers are showing in pursuing these issues in a more planned and comprehensive way.
Note that this resource does not deal directly with the significant issues relating to the language and style of inclusive, non-discriminatory communications. These matters should be carefully considered regardless of the technology platforms used.
This guidance applies across the full range of CHSP programs and activities. It is aimed at:
- Strategic and operational leaders responsible for designing services.
- Managers and staff involved in direct client service delivery.
- Staff with responsibility for monitoring and improving agency performance.
- All staff responsible for communicating with the public.