About the Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme

The STRC Programme provides support for up to 8 weeks to help older people regain or keep their independence at home.

What is the STRC Programme?

The STRC Programme is early intervention to reverse or slow ‘functional decline’ in older people.

‘Functional decline’ is when a person is having difficulty performing their day-to-day activities, including:

  • bathing
  • dressing
  • feeding
  • shopping
  • driving

The STRC Programme provides services to older people for up to 8 weeks (56 days) to help them delay or avoid long-term care.

A client can access 2 episodes of STRC within a 12-month period.

The support can take place in the person’s home, an aged care (nursing) home or a combination of both.

If you’re a senior Australian and want to find out about eligibility, services and costs, go to short-term restorative care on the My Aged Care website.

Why is the STRC Programme important?

We know that Australians want to live in their own home as they age. The STRC Programme aims to improve wellbeing and independence to help older people continue living in their own home.

STRC aims to help older people:

  • prevent or reduce any problems with completing daily tasks
  • improve their health and wellbeing
  • avoid long-term or higher levels of care

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for STRC a person must be:

  • at risk of losing their independence
  • able to improve their independence with STRC

A person cannot receive STRC if they:

  • are currently receiving (or on leave from) permanent residential care
  • are currently receiving home care through a Home Care Package (HCP)
  • are currently receiving transition care
  • have received transition care in the 6 months before assessment
  • have been hospitalised in the previous 3 months for a condition related to their current STRC needs
  • are receiving end-of-life care
  • have received more than 2 episodes of STRC in a 12-month period (an episode is 8 weeks)

If a person wants to apply for STRC, an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) must assess them. People can access an ACAT assessment by contacting My Aged Care.

A person does not need to be a certain age for an ACAT to deem them eligible for STRC.

If an older person is receiving services through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), they may also be eligible to receive STRC services.

What services are provided in STRC?

STRC services are tailored for each person and can involve a number of different health professionals. STRC services may include, but are not limited to:

  • occupational therapy
  • physiotherapy
  • nursing support
  • personal care
  • provision of technologies to help with day-to-day activities
  • minor home modifications

Clients must agree to their STRC services in the care plan, as part of their flexible care agreement.

The Short-Term Restorative Care Programme Manual guides STRC providers on their responsibilities and services.

STRC and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

A person is able to access both STRC and CHSP services. However, services must be different, yet complementary.

As the STRC service provider, you must liaise with the client’s CHSP service provider to coordinate services.

STRC and other aged care services

An STRC client cannot be accessing the following services when they apply for STRC.

Transition care

Senior Australians are not eligible for STRC if they have received transition care in the previous 6 months.

Having at least 6 months between episodes allows the goals of transition care to be fully met, so that clients are able to enter or continue the program that best suits their needs.

Residential aged care

Residential aged care residents cannot access STRC. But STRC can be delivered in a residential aged care setting.

Under Section 14-5 of the Aged Care Act 1997, there is a difference between the location of delivery and the allocation of a place. This prevents an approved provider from claiming residential care subsidy and STRC subsidy for the same person at the same time.

It does not prevent an approved provider from delivering STRC in a residential care facility.

Home Care Package (HCP)

An older person cannot receive STRC if they also receive a Home Care Package.

Clients who have not yet met their goals can exit the STRC Programme early to accept a HCP. Their ongoing care plan must include strategies to help them meet their goals after exiting the program.

What does the STRC Programme cost?

Under certain conditions, approved STRC providers can charge client fees.

The fee that clients may be charged is calculated on a daily basis for every day the client receives care.

The care fees that a recipient must pay are to be agreed upon in the flexible care agreement between the approved provider and client.

Find out more about fees and charges for the STRC Programme.

Who provides STRC Programme services?

Approved providers manage day-to-day care coordination of STRC.

Multidisciplinary teams (MDT) deliver STRC services using multidisciplinary care. MDTs can be made up of:

  • GPs
  • allied health professionals
  • community health workers
  • other specialists

Multidisciplinary care is when 3 or more of these specialist providers, from different areas, work together to determine the full range of care and services for the client.

Who oversees the program?

The Australian Government subsidises and allocates STRC places, as well as manages and develops policy for STRC under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act). This is done through the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.

We also approve applications for approved providers under the Act to deliver the STRC Programme.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission assesses the services to make sure providers meet quality standards. They also handle any complaints related to STRC service delivery.

Contact

Short-Term Restorative Care Programme contact

Email us to find out more or if you have questions about the STRC Programme.

STRC [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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