Are you a senior Australian who has recently been diagnosed with autism?
Or are you wondering whether autism might be part of your life story, perhaps because a child or grandchild has recently been diagnosed.
If you are just starting your research then visiting the Autism: What Next? website is your next step. The Autism in adults section gives you comprehensive information about the signs and symptoms of autism and explores whether getting a diagnosis is right for you. If it is, then assessment and diagnosis are explained along with advice on seeking support in the early days.
Managing your diagnosis and learning about services and support are the same for all people, regardless of age. However, the funding for these differs for those aged 65 and over.
Australian adults who were diagnosed and assessed by the NDIS before they turn 65 can remain as NDIS participants until they choose to move over to the Aged Care support system. Your NDIS plan and funding can be managed just as it was before. You can stay an NDIS participant until you choose to leave or until you enter an aged care home.
However, Australians who are diagnosed with autism over the age of 65 years old are not eligible to become NDIS participants. Newly diagnosed autistic adults aged over 65 years use the Aged Care system to access therapies and support.
My Aged Care
The My Aged Care website is the main website with the information you need. One of the main aims of aged care is to help Australians live as independently as possible for as long as they can.
On the My Aged Care website you can check to see what sorts of supports and assistance are available, and also check whether you are eligible. If you do match all the eligibility criteria then the next step is to arrange for an assessment. After your assessment you will find out what sorts of services can be funded for you. You may, if you are able to,choose to self-fund some of your supports.
The sorts of supports you might need include:
- Care with daily living, like shopping, cooking, dressing and washing
- Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and other allied health services
- Assistance to get out to community activities and events
- Help with medicines
- Companionship and friendship
You may decide to move into an aged care home, or to access some form of supported accommodation. This is also managed through the same aged care system as the supports to stay at home.
The My Aged Care website has a Support for people living with disability section here.