The Government is moving to address the backlog of older Australians on the waiting list for home-care assistance, with a funding boost announced on Tuesday night.
Under a suite of announcements to improve aged-care arrangements, the Government announced an additional 14,000 high-level home-care packages to help older Australians stay in their homes longer at a cost of $1.6 billion.
According to Department of Health quarterly data to December 2017, around 101,500 older people are on the home-care waiting list.
Funding was also announced for 13,500 new residential aged-care places and 775 short-term restorative places to be made available where they are most needed, plus $60 million for capital investment.
Urgent building and maintenance works to support aged-care providers in regional, rural and remote areas received an additional $40 million.
The Turnbull Government will also establish an Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to create a ‘tough cop’ to help ensure Australians receive the best possible care, with an additional $50 million to assist providers to implement new standards.
MyAgedCare will be improved with an investment of $61.7 million to make it easier to use. The forms required to apply for aged-care services will be simplified, and $7.4 million will be used to trial ‘navigators’ – professionals who can assist people to choose the aged-care services that suit their needs.
The Government will also invest $32.8 million to improve palliative care for older Australians living in residential aged care, filling current gaps in support services; $5.3 million for innovations in managing dementia, and $102.5 million for mental health programs for older Australians.
Have you been on a waiting list? Will the simpler forms make a difference for you?
Federal Budget 2018 wrap-up
Super work exemption test
Move to cap excessive super fees
Pension loans scheme extended
Healthy ageing a Budget priority
Framework for working until 70
Pension Work Bonus limit lifted