The emerging role of Financial Counsellors in supporting Older Persons in financial hardship and with management of Consumer-directed Care packages within Australia

West, R and Ramcharan, P 2019, 'The emerging role of Financial Counsellors in supporting Older Persons in financial hardship and with management of Consumer-directed Care packages within Australia', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 54, pp. 32-51.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The emerging role of Financial Counsellors in supporting Older Persons in financial hardship and with management of Consumer-directed Care packages within Australia
Author(s) West, R
Ramcharan, P
Year 2019
Journal name Australian Journal of Social Issues
Volume number 54
Start page 32
End page 51
Total pages 20
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract The role of financial counsellors as providers of information, support and advocacy for those in financial difficulty is a well established mechanism in the mainstream welfare landscape in Australia. In general, the role of financial counsellors is in helping people alleviate or resolve their financial difficulties through improvement of their financial literacy. It is recognised as an important component of policy responses to assist low‐income households and individuals in financial stress. The use of financial counsellors for older persons (i.e., those aged 65+ years) however appears to be underutilised. Financial hardship and abuse of older persons within our community are becoming key issues as the population of Australia ages. Existing evidence also suggests that service providers alone do not have adequate skills to address these issues. This paper firstly examines the development of financial counselling in Australia. It then examines the newly emerging role of financial counselling in supporting older persons in addressing barriers to financial literacy and then in navigating the complex landscape of aged care service provision. The current finacialisation, marketisation and complexities of consumer‐directed care are identified as key contextual factors. The paper will then discuss an evaluation study of the provision of financial counselling to the older person population designed to support financial hardship and navigation of the complex aged care services system. The findings of the paper are based on an evaluation of the Financial Consumer Rights Council (FCRC), Victoria: Dignity and Debt Financial Difficulty and Getting Older initiative. This pilot initiative included older persons from both community‐based and aged care residential facilities in one regional area of Victoria. The initiative, conducted over 2016, was designed to assess the effectiveness of one‐on‐one financial counselling sessions with older persons that provided consumer advocacy a
Subject Social Policy
Public Policy
Health Economics
Keyword(s) aged care
consumer directed care
financial counselliung
finacialisation
older persons
DOI - identifier 10.1002/AJS4.55
Copyright notice © 2018 Australian Social Policy Association
ISSN 1839-4655
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