New service for some older people to access aged care in South Eastern NSW

23 February 2023

A free service is now available to help some older people in South Eastern NSW who need extra, intensive support to access aged care services and other supports in the community.

Ms Prue Buist, CEO of COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, said the care finder program is tailored to help vulnerable older people who have no one else who can support them to learn about, apply for and set up support services.

"Care finders help vulnerable older people who, without intensive support, would not be able to access My Aged Care to arrange aged care services or other health and community services”. 

“It is wonderful that those in our region who need this level of support can receive help to navigate government services,” said Ms Buist.

“There are people in our community who are reluctant to engage with aged care or government and would be in an unsafe situation if they did not receive services. There are also people who have difficulty communicating because of language or literacy problems or who find it difficult to understand information and make decisions,” she said.

“The care finder service can assist older people with tasks like completing forms and understanding aged care service agreements, talking to My Aged Care, arranging, attending and providing support at an assessment, plus finding and short-listing local aged care providers. 

Ms Buist added: “As well as aged care, care finders can assist people access health, mental health, housing and homelessness services, drug and alcohol services and community groups.”

"This program is designed to provide assistance for an intensive and short time frame, it isn't a case management service. Following referral to the service a care finder will meet with the person at a place of the person’s choice and work with them to identify their support needs,” she said.

In finalising the service, a care finder will check to ensure that the appropriate supports and services have commenced, and all needed connections are complete. 

"Eligibility for this service is specific to a select group of people. A person needs to be aged 65 and over or 50+ if they are Aboriginal and/or experiencing homelessness and on a low income. Plus they must be eligible for government-funded aged care and not have a carer or support person they feel comfortable or trust to support them,” Ms Buist added.

COORDINARE has funded four organisations in South Eastern NSW to link eligible community members with care finders:

The two organisations in the Illawarra specialise in assisting people who are homeless.*

For people who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse contact Multicultural Communities Council Illawarra on 4299 7566 or email In Southern NSW contact Meridian on 02 6257 2538 or email

Other supports available are:
  • My Aged Care on 1800 200 244 or visit
  • Aged Care Specialist officers give face-to-face help in 70 Services Australia service centres. Visit the Services Australia website for locations or call 1800 227 475.
  • Advocacy support – call OPAN on 1800 700 600.
  • Carer support – call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737.
  • National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500.

End of life care, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Southern NSW