Delivering services under the Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme

STRC providers deliver a range of care and services tailored to meet their client’s goals to improve or maintain function. STRC services can be provided in a residential aged care setting or a home care setting, or a combination of both.

Who are STRC services for?

People are eligible to receive STRC Programme services if they are:

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

What are STRC services?

During an 8-week episode, STRC providers must ensure all clients receive:

  • timely and appropriate access to therapy, care and equipment
  • encouragement to actively participate
  • regular monitoring and evaluation

Full requirements on delivering STRC services are in Chapter 3 of the Short-Term Restorative Care Programme Manual.

Where can you provide STRC services?

There are 3 possible settings in which you can provide flexible care services:

  • residential
  • home
  • a combination of both

For a full list of services and your responsibilities with them, see Chapter 6 in the Short-Term Restorative Care Programme Manual.

Services in a residential care setting

A permanent resident of an aged care home cannot receive STRC.

Approved STRC clients can temporarily move into an aged care home to receive services, for part or all of the STRC episode.

Clients receiving STRC services in a residential aged care setting are able to access the same services as a permanent resident, including:

  • hotel-type services — services that meet day-to-day needs and facilities management 
  • care and support services — help with personal hygiene, grooming and moving around, and clinical care

Providers of residential-based STRC services must provide services that reflect the intent of the STRC Programme. This includes assisting clients to achieve an optimum level of independence and wellbeing, to minimise their care needs over the longer term.

Fees may apply for certain services in a residential setting. Read about which services you can ask clients to pay a fee for.

Services in a home care setting

STRC services can support senior Australians with complex care needs to live independently in their own homes.

If a client is living at home, you can provide:

  • personal care — such as help with showering and hygiene
  • communication support — such as help with using the phone or hearing aids
  • dietary support — such as help with nutrition and preparing meals
  • skin care — such as bandages and dressings
  • continence care — such as disposable pads, commode chairs and bedpans
  • mobility support — such as crutches, handrails, wheelchairs and bed rails
  • support services — such as cleaning, gardening and minor home modifications
  • social support — such as help to take part in social activities and access emergency services
  • care management — such as reviewing agreements and making sure services are suitable
  • clinical care — such as nursing, podiatry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hearing services

Services in a combination of both settings

Approved providers delivering in both settings are able to determine the mix of care delivery settings. This must be within the defined period of STRC support and in line with individual client needs.

What you cannot provide through STRC

You cannot use STRC funds to provide:

  • a source of general income for the client
  • food, except for enteral feeding
  • permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments or rent
  • payment of flexible care fees
  • payment of fees or charges for other types of care funded or jointly funded by the Australian Government
  • major home modifications or renovations
  • capital items that are not related to the client’s care needs, such as laptops, computers and mobile phones
  • travel and accommodation for holidays
  • entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events
  • gambling activities
  • services and items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Suspending services

Clients can take up to 7 days leave, for any reason, from their episode.

Read more about taking leave from the STRC Programme.

Hospital visits

If a client goes to hospital for a day procedure or for an overnight stay, you must provide STRC up to the point of admission. STRC restarts from the point of discharge on the same day or the next day.

There is no break in the service episode or the payment of the flexible care subsidy 

If a client:

  • has started their STRC episode and they are admitted to hospital for up to 7 days — they can return to the STRC episode once discharged from hospital
  • is admitted to hospital for longer than 7 days — they can no longer access the STRC episode once discharged from hospital

Changing services

You are responsible for transitioning clients between residential and home care settings if their needs change. The client may also exit STRC at any time.

If clients feel they need different services while they are receiving STRC, they should:

  • think about other types of services that could meet their needs, to include in their care plan
  • talk to you about changing their care plan to meet their needs

What you need to do

Add your details to My Aged Care to let senior Australians know who you are and the services you provide.

You must include your services in flexible care agreements.

Read more about delivering STRC services in the manual.

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