Government winds back funding to 100,000 older Aussies

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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?

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Written by Olga Galacho

52 Comments

Total Comments: 52
  1. 0
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    If more money will allow provision for fewer people then perhaps it’s time for the ‘providers” to be looked at very carefully. Are they wasting funds? Is the money being used for care or for profit of a business? The books of all providers on government funded contracts need assessing.
    It might be far more efficient and cheaper to go back to a centralised, government run, not for profit arrangement employing full time minimum wage staff.

    • 0
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      I can guarantee you that all providers are indeed thoroughly checked and audited every year through normal legal processes as well as audited by the Government Quality Agencies. Prior to the new system several of the bigger service providers were top management and asset heavy but have since downsized and have sold many assets. We are all not for profit but still have the normal costs of running businesses and providing services. What does waste our money is people booking in for services then not being there when the person comes to provide the service. that person still has to be paid regardless of t\whether the person is home or not. We often turn up for a booked service and the person isnt home and turns out they had a doctors appointment and didnt bother to cancel and re-book. Then there are also a lot other wasters because of service users not doing the right thing. Why should we be on a minimum wage when the majority of us are highly skilled people with a great deal of experience, we have to be because we are dealing with lives. Would you want to leave the lives of your older loved ones in inexperienced hands in people on minimum wage who really dont care? Perhaps you should get to understand the industry before passing such judgements.

    • 0
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      Ted, I am very grateful for the one and a half hours I get fortnightly. Fortunately we have recently moved and the service I am getting is outstanding, but the service I was getting in my previous home was appalling. Never knew what time they would come or even if they would come. No amount of trying to sort it out worked. So it is not just the recipients fault but is the providers fault too. Seriously the last lot could organise a p….. in a brewery!

    • 0
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      100% correct, Rae, as always.

      Checked and audited by whom and how?

      I knew a lady down south (before we moved up here) who was fully qualified in Canada, and applied for a job dear to her heart – checking on old people in nursing homes.

      Qualified to the max – no way, Jose`.

      She said that ‘random and unannounced checks’ were arranged in advance…. HELLO ….

      Am I missing something again???? (LMAO)….

    • 0
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      Ted the Care providers i know do a marvellous job and I believe are underpaid and over worked. I call you Carers because that is exactly what you do. Care for the Elderly and disabled and do a fabulous job under difficult conditions.

      My comment was about the Businesses that have set up to administer the provision of the services. There are many that aren’t efficient.
      They may have fancy names and offices but are so many of them really necessary.

      The people who came to help my Dad in his last few years were heroes in my opinion. Many of them deserved better management that they were getting.

  2. 0
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    The $6875 @ 52 weeks =$132 There wouldn’t be that much help given lucky to be 5 hours a week.
    Especially someone needing help Bathing/Showing. Then there are all the other needs to many to list.
    I understand this is to keep people in their homes and not in Nursing Homes which would be far more expensive.

    • 0
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      CHSP is basic entry level and only caters for a low level of care (It used to be called HACC). If a person needs personal care regularly they would be placed on a package which is a different system with higher individual budgets.

    • 0
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      I suppose, in all fairness, that the question has to be raised :- Where are the families in all this?

      I’m usually the ‘other side’ and roundly condemn the position of government and its lackeys…. but I trust I see fairness or otherwise…..

      How much responsibility does a government have to care for those who are ailing and disabled….?

      I’m a full time carer… I have no life of my own and it actually costs me… if it were fully funded no government could afford it…. true story… but some of us take on these responsibilities as a matter of duty and care…..

      A little extra would help….. but fair is fair…. I take that responsibility… but then – why is responsible and civilised behaviour not rewarded? (I know that one too well from my days as a working minion -more than you can comprehend was never rewarded)…

  3. 0
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    Once again the load will fall on over-worked family carers or the at risk older person will go it alone. I agree with Rae that there needs to be more financial accountability from the providers, especially the for-profit providers whose decisions may not always be in the best interests of their clients. Having managed a number of not-for-profit community service providers, I know we ran on the smell of an oily rag while trying to do our best by our clients. Staff went over and above to meet identified needs. We certainly did not have a plethora of cars for staff to use or palatial offices as some for-profit providers do. Time to get back to the basics and not have the situation of the haves and have nots. please!

    • 0
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      CHSP is highly regulated I think many don’t understand that CHSP is low level care only and there is no profit in CHSP. Many get this confused with the Home Package program which has four levels that increase with need with 4 being the equivalent of residential care. Each package comes with an individual budget and is higher than CHSP. Any funds from the Government are highly monitored and you also have to follow the usual legal requirements of yearly audits and we also have extended reporting we have to do twice yearly! The issue is the cost of providing services increase but the funding doesnt.

    • 0
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      Yes.. but we carers do it as a matter of honour… is there a reward for such genuine honour… or do OBEs and such only go to mates on the inside?

      I’ve also been asked to work for the Veteran’s community and the RSL – I had to decline because my local responsibilities are enough for now.

      How much of that work goes unrewarded? It is a matter of honour… and honour does not own a price tag….

  4. 0
    0

    What…….you mean not everybody wins???? That’s the normal lie of convenience. Last night ALL the states were going to be “no worse off” in the change to the GST carve up. And right at the end came the lie: the Commonwealth was going to top up the losing states. BUT NO MENTION OF FOR HOW LONG. Funny that.
    Believe not one word that comes from the foul lying mouths of the current lot.

  5. 0
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    I feel the less you do the more you have to lose. I will keep on doing housework until I am completely physically disabled. I see many elderly people that physically can clean up after themselves and cook but use all the government services instead. There should be medical assessments for this so that those that really need the help get it.

    • 0
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      Yep and a lot of them have surplus funds , are part pensioners for convenience and give away the rest of their money to family on an annual basis

    • 0
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      Each person goes through an extensive assessment and are only provided the support they need. For instance, they may be able to vacuum but not do the wet areas. CHSP is only a very low level of assistance. The rhetoric is each client sets their goals and only those goals are supported. For instance, they might prefer assistance with shopping rather than a fortnightly clean. Cleaning or domestic assistance on CHSP is your very basic cleaning only such as a vacuum where nothing is lifted or lifted, the wet areas mopped, no dusting etc. This article actually does not explain what the intent of CHSP is and most of the comments are about home care packages which is an entirely different system, funded in a different way. Providers can do both CHSP and the home care package program and I think this is where many are getting confused.

    • 0
      0

      So you have proof of that Raphael? What’s your source for this “fact”?
      You know someone who knows someone else?

      Always plenty of crap coming out of your mouth.

    • 0
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      Greg – I know someone who exploits the system. Its first hand knowledge

    • 0
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      Greg … Raphael and everybody deserve respect and your comments are not nice to say to him … he is entitle to his opinion … been crap or not …. so please some respect and make comments without the insults ….. will be nice

      I am referring to the add to your comment “Always plenty of crap coming out of your mouth.” … not nice for respectable people on this forum

    • 0
      0

      Yes, jackie – but then the bulk of the funding would be taken up by medical professionals etc.. and would not reach the coal face.

      Funding is limited and those areas take up far too much of it on a single ‘referral’ basis.

      I’ve cited a ‘work creation program’ in NYC here several times – where over 90% of the funding was taken up in ‘administrative costs’….

      Gives a good idea of how ‘government’ works… but what is the alternative? To do nothing .. or rely on volunteers such as my good self?

    • 0
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      We’re alleged adults here – we can determine for ourselves what is crap and what is not.

  6. 0
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    nothing mentioned about all the time carers put in for the measly sum of $3.50 an hour

  7. Profile Photo
    0
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    Home care packages should only be accessible for people om very low and make the package affordable so people can stay in their own homes, Vey expensive on top pf other living costs, Time to rethink funding

  8. 0
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    As a result of very decreased blood circulation and consequent muscle wastage, I find it very difficult to do some household jobs, such as cleaning, which require muscle power. I therefore have cleaning help 1 hour per fortnight for the things I can’t manage – this costs me $15.00 for the hour that I use the service, so not a free service. The charges from the service providers seem to vary between $10-$18 per hour – but good luck trying to get on the books of one charging $10.

    • 0
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      tango18 – I have just done a short term job in administration in this area, as well as having an aunt using the system. She needs weekly assistance with cleaning, and pays $9.00 per hour. Yet the care worker gets paid around $30 an hour, through an agency.

    • 0
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      $30 a hour, so do they work slowly?

    • 0
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      Musicveg – not having seen their tight working roster. The worker is given a schedule to stick by, showing time to arrive at place, how long to take, what to do, what time to leave. Some schedules were ridiculous – Example – given 15 minutes between seeing a patient, and starting a patient. Those 15 minutes – have to write up notes from previous person, then drive 8 kms through city traffic to next person, in own car. No wonder turn over is so high.

    • 0
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      Why should someone work for less than the minimum wage to help you when its quite possible that you have more funds available than them. These people have to in a lot of cases use their own vehicle to get there and cart equipment in, only to be spoken to and treated poorly in a lot of cases, knowing full well that the person they are trying to care for has more in the bank than they ever will have and that their arms have shrunk and their pockets have grown deeper. I know from my own parents position one in nursing home and one in a private retirement village that they can’t stand putting their hand in their pockets and just expect everything for free all the while they still have over 200 k still in super !!! whats the point ? that money is now too late for us kids to do anything with we are in our 60’s and do not need it now . Too little too late

  9. 0
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    So the Govt cuts back assistance to Older Australians just after a) the politicians gave themselves a 2% pay rise, and b) a $7,000+ tax cut in the pipeline! Is that a surprise from this Govt? If the numbers have suddenly changed – have they sacked yet the morons who gave them wrong numbers costing billions!

    Agree with Rae’s comment that they need to seriously look at providers who WILL use these schemes to rip off Govt funds.

  10. 0
    0

    The allocated funding is based on take up of the program and is needs based
    It’s smart to only allocate up to the amount required to provide an effective service
    Overallocation only results in Inefficiency and wastage

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