Around 100,000 fewer older Australians will be able to access subsidised home care following the Government’s release from 1 July of $5.5 billion over the next two years.
Last year, the Government announced the extra injection saying that it would boost overall spending on home-care packages to $99.3 billion across five years.
At the time, Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) would be available to 900,000 people who wished to age in place.
However, this week Mr Wyatt said the packages would be limited to just 800,000 Australians between now and 2020.
The revised figure means funding of $6875 per person will be available, as opposed to $6111 previously.
YourLifeChoices asked the Minister’s office why 100,000 formerly eligible recipients would no longer qualify for a package.
A spokesman for Mr Wyatt responded: “The Government was not trying to exaggerate last year but the counting methodology was not as robust. Now the new CHSP Data Exchange reporting tool is providing accurate figures.”
Meanwhile, Mr Wyatt said the funding boost would also provide certainty for 1600 CHSP service providers, enabling them to plan and make business decisions.
“This is about giving (older Australians) as much support and as many options as possible to remain living at home in their communities, close to their families and friends,” he said.
“The CHSP funding complements the recent Federal Budget’s $5 billion aged-care boost, including the More Choices For A Longer Life package.
“Depending on their needs, people may be eligible to receive help with transport, domestic duties such as house cleaning, personal care, home maintenance and modifications, food preparation and meals on wheels, nursing, social support and respite care,” Mr Wyatt said.
“The program is available for people aged 65 years and over, or 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“It also includes support services for prematurely aged people on low incomes who are 50 years or over and are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”
For details on the types of support services available under the CHSP, visit www.agedcare.health.gov.au
To access CHSP services, call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422.
Do you think the Government is rolling back its commitment to help older people live at home independently? Have you applied for a home-care package? If so, what was the outcome?