New Budget measures could help older Australians stay at home longer
Along with our ageing population comes the need for improved aged care and home support services. With this in mind, the Government has given a funding boost to services for older Australians, but is it enough?
Many older Australians will benefit from the $5.5 billion announced in the Federal Budget 2017/18 that will help to extend funding to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, which will provide assistance for people who wish to stay in their own homes for longer.
The program will be extended for two years from 1 July 2018.
“This home support program provides a range of essential services such as the popular meals on wheels, personal care, nursing and allied health and respite services, said Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt.
“In addition the funding includes help with services like cleaning and shopping, home maintenance and modifications – basic but essential services for older people who choose to stay in their homes as they age.
“This funding will provide continuity of essential support services to around 900,000 older Australians to help them continue living at home and in their communities.”
Along with this measure, Mr Wyatt announced that funding for aged care over the next five years will be $99.3 billion and will include expanding the aged care workforce to 980,000 by 2050.
“A strategic approach to building workforce capacity is needed given the significant structural changes now underway in aged care,” said Mr Wyatt.
“Improving access to a supply of workers is a major factor in sustaining services in regional, rural, remote and outer suburban locations.”
The announcement comes ahead of an independent review of the Commonwealth’s aged care quality regulatory processes.
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s report is due on 31 August 2017.
“As the Australian population ages we owe it to our nation builders to provide access to the very best quality care and safety,” said Mr Wyatt.
Read more at www.health.gov.au
Is the Government doing enough to make aged care more accessible for older Australians? Are you please with this announcement? Would you prefer to stay at home for longer or move into an aged care facility?