Seniors fleeced on in-home care

In-home care packages being eroded due to management fees.

ABC’s Lateline has reported that the level of services being received by seniors as part of in-home care packages under Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is being eroded due to management fees.

It is claimed that not-for-profit providers are charging expensive administration and case management fees, which, in some cases, can account for between a third and half of the value of the care package.

In-home care packages are designed to help older people remain in the homes for longer, and an estimated 66,000 Australians rely on such services. Legislation changes mean that from 1 July 2015, these services are now delivered by CDC, which allows the client to have a greater say in the services they receive, resulting in a more personalised service for each individual.

The issue with the services appears to be that providers allocate a minimum number of hours for case management, whether they are required or not. Case management fees are often billed at $80 or more per hour, which is higher than the rate charged for many services, such as personal care. From September 2017, consumers will be able to shop around for the best deal and move their care packages to a different provider, but this may be too late for many.

Former Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield oversaw the introduction of CDC packages two years ago, and agreed there is a problem. Although he also said that part of this was due to only the first stage of wholesale changes being under way. He told Lateline:

“Some of [the fees] do look beyond the pale. So I would encourage any individual who thinks that they're not reasonable to speak up about it.

"Ultimately, it will be consumers themselves who pass judgement as to whether fee levels are appropriate."

Unfortunately, they won’t be able to act on this judgement for a couple of years yet.

Read more at ABC.net.au 

Do you receive in-home care packages? Have you notice an increase in fees since the full implementation of Consumer Directed Care?





    COMMENTS

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    Stevie Wonder
    30th Sep 2015
    10:36am
    Is anyone surprised by these excessive charges, it seems that everything that the Liberal National party's do is to ensure a profitable outcome for their supporters/mates, we had the same problem in Queensland under the LNP. They keep saying they are the government of lower taxes and charges that's because their supporters/mates are now ripping us off. I'll be voting against the major parties at the next election and the main recipient will be either the MAP or No Tolls/Consumer Rights party's who want to look after the people so I urge all to start looking closely to the next election and stop being sheep.
    Annamaria
    30th Sep 2015
    1:06pm
    You really are a wonder, Stevie. It's so convenient to forget the mess labour got the country into
    TREBOR
    30th Sep 2015
    3:06pm
    He said he wasn't voting for Labor......
    Stevie Wonder
    30th Sep 2015
    4:11pm
    Well Annamaria looks like you didn't read my comment properly like Trebor did you also seem to conveniently forget that there was a Global Financial Crisis when Labour were in power and that we were one of the lucky countries to get through it, as I said start thinking not blindly following like sheep.
    Anonymous
    4th Oct 2015
    2:59pm
    Come on - GP offered my help for a grab rail for my steep front steps. They came weeks later to measure, sent me a quote of $380 pay upfront if you want it done,so I paid. Then 2 months later 2 men turned up with this monstrosity which would look grand on the steps of the Capital Building in DC. But they had a grab rail in back of their vehicle and fitted it saying ask for refund same day as local builder was fitting new aluminum windows on front of house, he looked and said he could have done it for $60. My refund was half the $380 - so excessive profit. Never again. And not impressed with Mitch at all, think he missed his calling - comedian. Wait for these is very long - literature said all the workers were retired volunteers only management paid. I did try to find one of these grab rails on line with local and Bunnings too - no one stocked them. Ony got 3 steps but huge drop when ones legs are just short of useless these days I cant get back in front now - go out but have to be let in back and need a grab rail there as cling onto brick windowsill which is a bit dodgy but scared of asking anyone. Did email the local builder last year he said would come. Still waiting.
    jackie
    30th Sep 2015
    10:43am
    There needs to be a cap on high salaries. This would put an end to ridiculous charges and would allow for more jobs. Increasing salaries at the top end of the career ladder cause cutbacks at the end of the career ladder. Where the work actually gets done.
    Anonymous
    4th Oct 2015
    3:05pm
    Agree. Started off 20 odd years ago with McQuarrie Bank CEO on 30 od million a year. Now rampant with our PM being paid more than Obama and his 300 million or Cameron and his 62 million even closer to our 23 million and only 11 million workers on PAYG so little wonder we are out of money for services when public servants like teachers, nurses etc go on strike annually asking too now for huge 14% rises or even more. It will end on tears old saying but true.
    And correct Jackie - every time these management people come out and sack front line or production line workers to satisfy their shareholders they then give themselves a productivity bonus! And for decandes now sacked CEO'sdue to bad jobs walk away with millions. Time shareholders and that means us too shareholders of Australia Inc - stood up and said Enough!
    Rosscoe
    30th Sep 2015
    11:05am
    I'm getting sick of these carpetbaggers ripping us off! Why didn't Senator Fifield do something about it when he was the minister? Same story as happened with the job agencies. Here's your chance Malcolm Turnbull! Get the job done! By the way, I'm still waiting for my $550 and my NBN.
    Nan Norma
    30th Sep 2015
    11:15am
    Another big rip off is the dentist charges. In qld pensioners are being given vouchers for dentist work and you can be sure the dentist will take full advantage. 20 minutes work and your $260 odd voucher is gone. It won't be long before the government will be saying there is no money left for dental treatment.
    Young Simmo
    30th Sep 2015
    1:38pm
    Nan Norma, that $260 you referred to equates to, $780 / Hour, or $13 / minute. I will have to go into Net-Bank and check, but I am confident that it is more than my pension.
    JAID
    30th Sep 2015
    11:53am
    It is one huge pool and one with incomes administered (loosely) by those already on inflated incomes.

    It does not matter whether professionals like doctors and dentists are involved or the trades, nursing, teaching, plumbing; or the public service, whatever or whoever, there is mostly no competition. The money comes from one amorphous pool. There is enormous expectation and little incitement to excel...overpumped incomes will flow anyway. It doesn't matter whether you are a great teacher or an average one, whether you put in a exhaustive 2000 hours per year or the, stunning, required 1000 you will get the same elevated income based on the now ancient ideal where 1 person in a family works.

    We have a working community straining to remain competitive in a competitive world and a mass living in a make believe world where competition and excellence has no connection with return; where fake in-house goals maintain order and the dream. In between are those who have put in but have no or limited power; victims in spiralling ineptitude and an ignorant greed.
    Linda
    30th Sep 2015
    1:14pm
    From experience, and research, I know this article is true and it merely hits the high spots of the issues of concern. Clients, who are elderly, tired and sick with perhaps no or little support are being asked to sign contracts, often with little understanding of the content. Some contracts are very predatory in terms of the money. Thus far, there is in some places trained volunteers who can help but sadly in most situations it is more than difficult to find appropriate advice and support to both understand the terms of the contract and the implications. Service providers are known to double dip, some ...not all, by giving a different name to the same service. For example charge a large percentage admin fee and then bill the package at excessive prices for telephone, postage, etc. The elderly for sure are a vulnerable population because they want to trust, because they want to get things done and have in some cases reduced ability to use sound judgement. Carers can suffer exhaustion and therefore are challenged to make sound decisions. Clients can be misled, and there is nobody noticing. There are windows open to providers to over sell/charge for equipment and supplies that may or may not be needed, or without proper safeguards, short change clients by charging as per the care plan vs what services are actually provided.

    There is a need to see the money used for the purpose it is intended for, and not to line the pockets of predatory, greedy business managers. I hate to see waste and abuse of tax payer funds. Those people who are providing the actual services, such as clinical nurses, home care support workers may also be treated poorly by the same businesses as it is clear their motive is only profit, not their service.

    It is true the industry is in transition, and I think every effort should be made to find and deal with some of the issues effectively to avoid waste and to truly enable people to stay in their homes.

    Consumers need firstly to understand the arrangements against some understanding of appropriate standards and they further may need assistance to negotiate with providers to avoid these poor practices of high admin fees, and case management fees. The case managers, care workers are in general a fabulous group of people, the issues I see are mainly with the policies of the providers, and the measures they take to keep as much of the funds for their organisations and perhaps to pay the excessively high salaries.

    Ideally, every single provider should include a way to complain about the business part, as currently the complaints plans center around the service provision, not the company policies and practices around the money.

    Management should include feedback from the hands on workers going up the policy and practice chain, as well as the top down management.

    This article is the tip of the iceberg!
    Hasbeen
    30th Sep 2015
    3:47pm
    Linda your post tends to indicate that some elderly have live in carers, supported by the tax payer, then get in home care to do the job the carer is supposed to be doing.

    Please tell me this is not true. If it is, perhaps we should be more worried about double dipping by the elderly & carers, rather than any profiteering by the companies & charities that do this work.
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:36am
    No, that is not what i am talking about. I am talking about carers, like spouses, who are doing it very hard, or family members, who are working 24/7 to take care of their loved one, that includes all the responsibilities to keep the home going and to help the person eat, be safe, be clean, see dr's, They are often exhausted, because the job is more than they can do and stay alive, and the home care packages are there to help these people stay in their homes. Some are living on their own with no carer at all, and maybe no one to help them work through the business end of things. No the double dipping i am speaking of is providers charging twice for the very same thing. Providers. Someone on a home care package is not able to have a paid live in carer and also get home care help via any tax payer plan. If you feel it is unfair for a carer family member to receive a small allowance to defray expenses, then maybe try doing it yourself for say 10 years and see how you feel at the end of that! It is against the rules to have a live in paid carer and a home care package at the same time. Oh and if the carer dies then the person who needs the support has to go into a nursing home then, then the tax payer bill is even larger. What i am trying to say is there are some in the service provision that are taking advantage of people because they can. I have direct experience of this.
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:39am
    And, sadly it is true that some people do take advantage, who are on the receiving end. I am here concerned about those who are vulnerable, tired, old, over taxed, burnt out, trying to make heads or tails of a complex contract and set of arrangements they they have little chance of understanding, if they sign the contract without good understanding they could be seriously ripped off, in terms of the amount of service they can receive for the allocated funds.
    professori_au
    30th Sep 2015
    2:01pm
    I have spoken out against this service??? It is not a service but a revenue generating exercise for a private corporation. As an advocate I have seen where many so-called training providers and job placement agencies operated by so-called charities have been exploiting the unemployed and disabled, even where they provide jobs within their own organisations, wages are paid at less than minimum rates. sometimes they pay less in the beginning, telling the new worker their skills will be re-assessed in e.g. six months and it never happens. One case in particular involved a disabled person. Employed at less that the minimum rate, promised a review in six months that after four years never happened. the excuse? Too busy. Sent on a mickey mouse training programme, (their own of course).
    When I advised he was being underpaid and should lodge a complaint with Centrelink he replied that he liked to have a job but there were not many who would employ a disabled person. Questioning further, when I commented that he was being under paid, he replied that they told him he could keep his disability pension. I told him that the organisation did not have the authority to tell him that and is expected to pay him the going rate for the work he was doing at the appropriate level. Centrelink would decide whether he was earning too much and adjust his disability pension accordingly. I asked did he know whether the organisation had been paid a job placement subsidy and a training subsidy and he replied yes. In summary the situation was this. He was underpaid. The organisation was using his disability pension to subsidise the wage it should have been paying. It was receiving both the job placement and training subsidies. I recommended he lodge a complaint but he decided not to as he believed he would be black banned and never be able to get a job. That sad thing was he was a very intelligent person and contributed to several community groups. He passed away several months ago, so it is not an issue any longer for him but the question is still there about how many other unemployed and or disabled people are going through the same treatment. Regarding the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) from what I am reading here it is another organisation set up to generate revenue at the expense of providing care to those most likely to be the most vulnerable within our society. Governments do not seen to care. They have handed over a responsibility that is theirs to private organisations without putting into place a process of duty of care and due diligence. Remember privatisation means revenue and profit making and not necessarily service.
    Sundays
    30th Sep 2015
    2:02pm
    This is appalling. For a long time Ive thought that the whole not for profit sector needs to be looked at. In many cases, the name is a misnomer.
    Linda
    7th Dec 2017
    4:20pm
    I gather the industry wrote the plan, and I am feeling quite certain they did not forget to ensure healthy profits. Not every organisation is this way but some are. They are like vultures.
    TREBOR
    30th Sep 2015
    3:02pm
    Yes - that's privatisation for you.... user pays... so cough up you old bed-ridden leaners or it's out on the street you go! I call this piss poor management..... just like the poor restaurateurs who can't make ends meet on Sundays.... if you can't work your fees out over a time period, but must rely instead on moment-to-moment grabs - in this case on those unable to refuse - then you should not be in business...

    That goes all the way to the top in this neck of the woods...
    tams
    30th Sep 2015
    3:36pm
    Let's put some truth into this subject.
    1) The vast number of Home Care Packages are allocated to Charities and Not for Profit.
    2) There are no changes to anyone's entitlements under CDC. Some recipients may be receiving less now, as previously they were receiving the left-overs from other recipients who were not using their entitlements.
    3) The majority of service providers have not raised their administration fees. They were always there, except they were not required to disclose them - thus we now have transparency.
    4) So Rosscoe, Minister Fifield did do something about it. It was this Government's policy which has brought about transparency
    5) A level 4 package provides about $48,000 in Government subsidies. The recipient would receive between 75 and 82% of these funds in direct services. No different to before transparency, except we now know the breakdown
    Sundays
    30th Sep 2015
    6:57pm
    I've looked at the list of providers published by the Department. I disagree that the vast number are charities (who are classed as not for profit for tax purposes). Some charities and church run organisations, but also a lot of private organisations. Read the article again which clearly explains what was said on the Program. Admin fees are very high, employees are poorly paid, the elderly aren't always having the say in their home care as promised, so who are the beneficiaries of the home care packages.
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:43am
    A provider could have the name of a church in it, but no longer be run by the church. That was true in our experience.
    Evil child
    30th Sep 2015
    3:38pm
    I am a community care worker. I am a casual because it's cheaper for the company than employing me as a permanent. I get paid $25.96 an hour. Lucky to get 20 hours of work a week and I don't get paid for the kilometers I travel. Caters are definitely not the winners. I love my job helping people but I struggle on around $900 to $1,000 a fortnight. Just spent one third of my pay today registering my car for six months. Couldn't afford twelve months. Car needs a service next pay. We help these companies stay in the black and our bank balances go into the red
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:47am
    Yes, this is what I found, the actual workers are not treated very good, while the business office rakes it in hand over fist. I should say not all, but some. The business office gets the lion's share and everyone else gets a couple of drops.
    They do have to get police checks, and insurances, so that sort of thing does make it a lot more expensive. Each provider has a long set of rules, and in the main these rules are designed to protect both the consumer and the provider. It is very complex!
    Ripped Off Granny
    30th Sep 2015
    5:00pm
    I have been receiving home help for 2 yrs,I cannot get help for the gardening, window cleaning,or any manual labour that I cant do. I can only get floors washed and vaccumed. I was offered 2 hours help initially but did not require it then. now I do. but can only get 1 1/2 hours a week. I have been told by Admin that all services were being cut as of last July 2015
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:49am
    And there may or not be simply a change in how they are charging your package if you have one, by increasing the admin or case management, there is less for you, in terms of services. By law they are supposed to give you an itemised account that tells what their charges are, what your fund balances are.
    jeff
    30th Sep 2015
    5:36pm
    We have home help, 1 hour every 4 weeks. Staff have told us to only phone their office if we really need to, they charge our account, $80 per call
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    11:09am
    Jeff, if this is ontop of an admin fee, charged monthly then you are being cheated. Try talking to the complaints people at my aged care but know this you might have some trouble getting to something that looks like real help. It took me one year to get some progress on our issues, calling advocacy, the aged care complaints, and many others. The arrangements are very complex. Try to find someone who understands the rules and get them to look over your arrangements. This is exactly where the trouble is, trying to find someone who can actually help you figure out if you are being treated correctly by your provider!!!!!
    jeff
    1st Oct 2015
    2:50pm
    Linda, we don't get copy's of the account, not told hoe much is allocated to us. nothing.
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    3:25pm
    If you are on a package, of any sort, from July 15 of this year, the law requires an understandable statement, and you have a right to it. Call the 800 number for my aged care, and ask to talk to a complaints person from your state. If you get no joy, talk to someone in advocacy. It is worth sticking to it, even if it is frustrating. If your arrangement is not a home care package then, I am not sure what to suggest. This is the main problem is how to get facts that explain if things are happening properly or not. There is a rights of consumers statement on the my aged care website. It mentions the billing I believe. One hour every four weeks sounds like you may not have an actual package. There are organisations that offer a non-package related service and without more information. If this is the case, and it is fee for service, but a greatly reduced fee for service, then you might could shop around. You should not have to pay to be able to understand the agreement you have with these people.
    jeff
    1st Oct 2015
    5:59pm
    thanks Linda. we Pay $5.90 per hour per visit. Had a review month or so ago. Again thanks for the information.

    30th Sep 2015
    6:41pm
    what is this country coming to that even the pensioners who never received child allowances, may be $ 10 dollars a month if you had more than three children, you never got any money for putting your kids in pre-school, instead you had to help with the fundraising, such as pancake evenings, how I hated the steak pancakes, can we still remember the progressive diners, going from one house for entrees to the next for the mains, to the next for the dessert and the last one for the drinks, how great live was! We never heard of first home buyers monetary allowance, if both of you worked you got your council's day care, where you had to pay the carer on the Friday when you picked your kids up, now pensioners are complaining that they have to pay for the services of staying in their own home, for paying for someone to do their gardening, or that the government is not paying enough for them to look after their own grandchildren, has the curse of the modern australia ME, ME first, backer everyone else, reached that state. reading of pensioners complaining about the adjustment of their pension, yes, it may be only $ 2.50, hey that is more than most people earn in this world and yes I am a pensioner and I receive council assistance with the housework, I get a bill every month for the work and am only to pleased to pay the council for their services, their home help is out of this world and they can't do enough for you!
    reading the comments of some of you, all I can ask you, has Australia fallen that far and has Australia become a country of wingers and nobodies, where is your spirit that made AUSTRALIA the place to live and bring your kids up, instead of putting this beautiful country down. please tell me of any country in this world where you would be better off!
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:52am
    My point is that what money is allocated by the government should not be wasted or given to people sitting in offices working out how much they can get for themselves out of the business. It probably does save money to help people stay in their homes, in the long run.
    Bes
    30th Sep 2015
    7:13pm
    Non for Profit organisations are some of the biggest profit makers there are.
    I know, I work for them.
    CEO's are always on salary's of hundreds of thousands and a certain few admin staff get the good salary, cars, fuel and salary packaging.
    The staff are paid peanuts.
    Most are becoming foreign owned.
    Why is a great country being so poorly managed?
    Australia is a Trillion dollar economy and all the electorate can expect is Tax, more Tax and their public assets sold off!
    The politicians Entitlements argument seems to of died away too.
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2015
    7:43pm
    all I can say, Bes start living in the real world, it is your choice to work for them, all I know is that pensioners now-a-days are the most ungrateful participants in australia, their pension is never enough to live on, yet go and have a look at the pokies venues, I am a pensioner, living on the pension and I would be more than dishonest to state that I am worse off then when I was working. forget about winging, take a positive outlook and enjoy the rest of your live, you can push up the daisies for ever when they bury you because no-body will give it a second look.
    Bes
    1st Oct 2015
    7:36pm
    Well heemskerk99.... Yes it is my choice to work for them, but only out of boredom. I tried retirement but it didn't sit well and I have my health....so far!
    You see I am 70 years old, own everything and do it....like you say by choice.
    I was just making a true statement on behalf of the people who live in hostels/homes etc and operated by corporate style and paid admin's who make sure there is NO PROFIT, just a great salary paid by the unfortunate aged who have little choice.
    By the way we don't have pokies here and I don't gamble in any form.
    We give to charities and enjoy ourselves, by choice!
    Mar
    30th Sep 2015
    7:48pm
    This change in care at home is an absolute rip off. I was told the smallest package I could get would be $70 a week. I only wanted one hour a fortnight help with domestic work, but this was the cheapest I could get under the new system. I have friends who have gone to private cleaners for just $30 an hour per week. How can the aged on the pension afford it? I find it unbelievable.
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2015
    8:33pm
    mar, when do you wake up, what do you want for $70 a week, all you have to do is get those private cleaners for $ 30 an hour and accept their service, if you can do it cheaper than what is advertised by the government, go for it, don't blame anybody if it is not up to your standards, may be it is time to do something yourself or get your kids to help you out
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:56am
    Mar, it is important to shop around, unless you live in a remote location, there are other ways to go. I did not make the policies, and am not fighting what the policies are but now, with the changes the consumer must be very careful and must also put time in to ensure things are happening properly. There are only a few places that are truly mistreating the system, but those few are very much taking money that should not be theirs.
    jamesmn
    1st Oct 2015
    8:52am
    I am on a age care package and get home care help as well as gardening services the gardening services are the most expensive services I have ever heard of and the admistration costs are unbelievable they send you out a statement every month and its wrong every time some people apparently don't check their statements so they get away with it I'm at the stage where I'm ready to change providers now its a complete scam by the provider
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    10:57am
    Yes, I agree with you! It is time consuming, confusing, and very difficult to do anything about a service using predatory and misleading methods to be able to fiddle a system to realise more than their fair share.
    Adrianus
    1st Oct 2015
    10:55am
    There seems to be a common thread here. I recall a couple of years ago the unions getting involved. A deal was struck. Workers got a substantial increase. Unions walked away with a big smile, because they had many more members. Prices go up to cover costs. We are talking about not for profit organisations. Where then does the money go?
    I recall, similar in the motor manufacturing industry where assembly line workers were paid big money (like union bosses) and getting a new car every 2 years for about 2 months wages. Meanwhile the rest of us were paying big money to keep the scheme going.
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    11:02am
    Compare your statement to the rise in CEO salaries. It costs a lot of money to just live in this society for what ever reason. It maybe way better to firstly use tax payer money very very wisely and carefully. This hand out to providers by way of what they can get away with is one big area of potential waste. It is very expensive to house elderly people in nursing homes. It costs less to help people stay at home, and to use as little service as they actually need to get by. This is not an easy thing to do. It requires brains and strategies to ensure money is spent well. The change that has happened in aged care is massive. Consumers are paying in way more than in the past to access the programs. This is only fair if they can pay for it. And when the industry is taking advantage or if consumers are then money is not used well.
    Adrianus
    2nd Oct 2015
    9:03am
    Nothing could compare to the jealousy which exists with high income earners. We have one million Aussies currently working overseas. Many of whom have left our shores for a better paying job with more prospects of self advancement and skills training. If you want a ceiling on wages, and a cap on the amount of hours worked, and a cap on productivity, and a cap on success of any kind, then I suggest you're fighting a battle you cannot possibly win on a global scale.
    If we fight a battle against corruption we have a much better chance of a lower price point. Far too many "connected" people set up companies and instantly win government contracts. If that's what you are eluding to than I agree!
    Ripped Off Granny
    1st Oct 2015
    11:00am
    I have just received a notice stating that fees for home help is going to increase AGAIN this year..
    Linda
    1st Oct 2015
    11:05am
    They have built in an annual increase of costs to consumers into the program. There is a government policy document available on line. Aged care costs a lot of money and it costs unpaid carers a lot of their lives, their jobs, and their health. Finding a way to deal with this is difficult. At the very least, ways to stop what I would call frankly fraud is an important part of rolling out the changes!!
    LiveItUp
    1st Oct 2015
    1:49pm
    Like everything else know the rules before doing anything and then you can negotiate. Unfortunately a lot of these services pray on people who believe what they say as they believe they are the "experts". Never sign anything you don't read or understand. If in doubt leave it out until your doubts are rectified.
    professori_au
    1st Oct 2015
    2:53pm
    A point that appears to have been overlooked. The other day a young fellow (well around 35-40) said he resented to being forced to contribute to pensioners. I said to him that he is incorrect. The pensioners had already contributed to their pension while working. What he needed to consider whether there would be a pension for him to draw on as the government is pushing the retirement age high and higher, yet expects the older workers to continue to contribute towards their pensions, (if they live long enough to be eligible) Governments have been dipping into the pension contributions for their own agenda. The pension fund should have trillions in it but my bet is that it doesn't because of political agendas. Look at those who contributed to the pension tax, yet never claimed due to death? Of those who collect a pension, they represent only a fraction of those who contributed. I don't see the government offering to return that money to the estates:)
    LiveItUp
    1st Oct 2015
    3:55pm
    Young fellow is right all pension payments come out of the taxes raised today. The pensioners have not contributed to any government pot of money to pay their pensions. It comes out of the taxes I and others pay today. The pension which is welfare should only be given to those who need it not those who are entitled to it. There is no money to be returned to estates because quite simply their is no pot of money available.

    The inequitable and stupid thing that is happening now where a person gets a full pension and then passes their assets in full on to their estates must be stopped. If you have assets and get the pension then this should be deducted from your estate.

    The sooner the house is included in the assets the better as well.
    jeff
    1st Oct 2015
    5:53pm
    When I 1st started work I payed my tax being told that this will supply me a pension. I never had supper, so why am I now being told I'm a burden on our current tax payers. I worked for a Family Business. When compulsory supper came in they organized it. Then when they sold the business it turned out there was no supper. What happened to the taxes that I have already payed to fund my retirement?
    OzzieOzzie
    2nd Oct 2015
    10:38am
    Hello All, to fight for all of Us Seniors, is Any person on here able to start up a "Seniors Party"?
    We MAY have a chance to "Have our Say". If you can't beat 'Em, Join 'Em. We wont get anywhere just Complaining all the time, the Ministers are Not going to read "this" in Your Life Choices, are they?
    JO
    professori_au
    2nd Oct 2015
    3:17pm
    Hi All.
    As an advocate people contact me on many subjects and today was no exception. I mention it as a hearsay comment until I have investigated it further. I need the evidence before taking it a bit further. The claim was that our trading corporation (council) had gone down to the riverbanks and dozed up all of the camp sites of the homeless, destroying all of the personal belonging and ensuring they could not live there. Under our lawful Commonwealth Constitution 1900-1901, local government is recognised as a department of the state and has the responsibility of providing services to the local community. Instead they collude and work with business interests and if this claim is true one could not be blamed that the scenario might be designed to attract business by demonstrating "we have a viable town and do not have problems with homeless and other undesirables". Well it might be better if it was to involve itself with programmes to assist the homeless, (adult and youth), members of the community that for one reason or another have become isolated and generally put out a helping hand, not in a paternalistic manner but to give that extra support. I know of people living in their vehicles, moving from place to place to try and find the nearly non existent jobs. I have an interest in the disabled and specifically those with intellectual disabilities. These are people who are on the very bottom of priorities of governments and there is a whole range of people affected as a result, i.e. siblings, parents, grandparents and so on. Our "council: is under investigation into the culture of bullying within council. I attended an interview and asked the investigator what was the parameters that were controlling the investigation. Was it just employees or did it extend wider. I was asked why and I replied that my contacts involved small traders, ratepayers and this might also be included as a form of bullying. Another incident came as a result of advising people that if they were having financial difficulties under the invalid 1989 local government act there were sections to provide relief, even to the extent that under s170 Deferred payment, s171Waiver 171A Waiver by application—financial hardship.
    People are not advised of those rights unless someone knows and tell them. One person trying to find a way to assist an elderly pensioner who was facing financial difficulties and the council was taking him to court to take possession of his home for failure to pay rates. I was contacted to see what advice I could give. I explained about the options and sent a copy of the application form and the relevant sections of the act. I suggested that rather than take the ones I sent, go to the council and ask for them, I would not be surprised if they were told the council was unaware of it or that they did not hand them out. If that happened then show them the forms and tell them that it is under their own act and they have a duty of care to the people to provide this option when needed. It happened as I predicted but the forms were produced and council had to accept them and the case was withdrawn. I am dealing with another example where two migrant pensioners should have been advised in the first instance of difficulties. Instead council charged interest that became interest and charges on interest and charges. It took the couple to court ex parte which is Latin meaning loosely for the one side or party. They never received a summons, etc. so they had the opportunity to defend themselves. It ended with them desperately paying monies from life savings and selling assets to pay. They paid more that double or treble the original debt and still owed a debt. The council is becoming concerned now and have offered to waive the debt. My issue is that these people might be entitled to a refund of monies paid as council has failed its duty of care and to carry out due diligence. They have breached several acts and laws. Sometimes I wonder where we as a national are heading with governments being more concerned with licking the boots of foreign powers that governing for the people and carrying out the will of the people rather than the interests of the agenda and interests of factions and other vested interests.
    jeff
    2nd Oct 2015
    4:03pm
    The Australian Constitution only has two forms of government, State or Federal. When we went to the polls in 1988 there was also a referendum. It asked us the people if we want a third tier of government, (local government) they lost by 60%. Our constitution states that it must go to a referendum to change it.
    Libby
    5th Oct 2015
    6:34pm
    Hmmm, after reading your comments, I think I will give Council a miss. I guess some people are happy, some are not, also depends on your area council too.
    Not Senile Yet!
    2nd Oct 2015
    5:00pm
    Bonny....your Party Propaganda and lies are not appreciated with regard to Pensions...especially labelling them as Welfare!!!
    That is an outright LIE!!! Pensions were legislated through Parliament LONG BEFORE Super became compulsory.....in fact it was before the 2nd World War and was a unique system built into our Society to provide for the Aged!!!
    Stop telling lies and labelling Penions as Welfare!!!
    It is our Current Crop Of Politicians that married all the Government Departments into Human Services and then Labelled them Welfare!
    Pensions were always Separated from Welfare before this and treated differently!
    It is not just convenience that saw the Pension System dismantled AFTER both Parties both voted to ACCESS the money invested from the tax System (4% was put aside for Pensions from early 1930's) during a mini recession in the nineties and was never replaced nor the system restored!!! The 4% now goes into the Big Black Hole!!!
    It is also no coincidence that immediately after this event occurred that the NEW PARLIAMENT House in Canberra was approved and built! Smacks of Party Collusion if you ask me!!!
    Stop your Propaganda Lies that Pensions are Welfare!!!
    They have never been Welfare (An American interpretation for everything the Government Provides).....Our system took an EXTRA 4% off ALL Workers to pay for pensions and this was invested separately until the 1990's before BOTH PARTIES (Labor & Liberal) raised and dismantled it!!!!!!
    As for your Rubbish Statement about Houses and Personal Assets raid by Governments......Your are an absolute Moron......Houses and Personal Assets have been purchased with Money that has ALREADY been taxed......the Government simply wants to DOUBLE DIP...as it is doing with Super!!!!!
    Bonny....it is people who repeat Government Propaganda like you are doing that just helps them to achieve what they are after.....changing our system into a Yankee One!!!!
    I for one am not that ignorant...nor forgetful with regard to what is and what IS NOT Welfare in OUR AUSTRALIAN SYTEM created by our Forefathers.....YOU should be ashamed that you have been conned to believe otherwise!!!!
    As for YOUR TAX paying for the Current Pensions......that is only true because the Government raided the Cookie Jar.....and spend the lot elsewhere!!!! Just as they have flogged off all the Countries Assets.....namely Power, Gas, Minerals, Land and now want to Sell off the Private Health System to Private Corporations!
    I do NOT want to live in a copycat Yankee Society where only the Private Rich make money at the expense of everyone else!!!!!!
    We do not have to Copycat Anyone.....we are capable of not copying their BAD Policies.....and have a tax system that is fair to ALL!!!!
    Go spread your Right Wing Yankee ideas elsewhere or at least try to see without the racehorse blinkers...eh what???
    jeff
    2nd Oct 2015
    6:42pm
    well said
    Rae
    3rd Oct 2015
    7:29am
    Very true.

    We desperately need a Seniors Political Party.

    Private markets will never provide the efficiency, equity and sustainability needed for a strong society.

    The markets must be supported but in a strong mixed economy government must regulate and supply those needs that private industry can't or won't provide.

    Australia's strength lay in the best wealth redistribution system in the world which most elderly supported by paying reasonably high taxes with little middle class welfare.

    The system of supporting young fit workers because business refuses to pay decent wages and then attacking the retiree and unfortunates is wretched.
    Libby
    5th Oct 2015
    6:31pm
    Hear! Hear! Where have you been hiding Bonny? You need to do some more homework to get the true facts. We grew up with it, where were you?
    Libby
    5th Oct 2015
    6:31pm
    Hear! Hear! Where have you been hiding Bonny? You need to do some more homework to get the true facts. We grew up with it, where were you?
    professori_au
    2nd Oct 2015
    8:40pm
    Sorry Bonnie You are completely wrong. People working were contributing towards their pension out of the taxes. I might also add business people also paid towards a pension they may not be eligible to receive. When the super scheme came into being I was asked to make a comment and I warned then that unless the proposed super scheme was set up so governments could not dip into it the super beneficiary would not benefit nearly as much as the proponents of the scheme thought would happen. Then there was the problem of exemptions. People working for business earning below a certain amount faced discrimination as their employer was exempt from the contribution, reducing the long term benefit others working for employers not exempt would receive. Look at what has happened to the super schemes to date. How many people have lost or had their entitlements reduced. Don't take my word for it. do your own research
    Libby
    5th Oct 2015
    6:17pm
    Goodness, I didn't realise how hard it is to get the best carer/cleaners for the elderly who simply can't do it anymore. I've seen how my 89 year old mother struggles. I have heard of ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) who visit the elderly, organise what needs to be done in either personal care or domestic.They did visit my mother to assess her needs but she cut them short! So what else am I to do now? I myself am very limited in providing carer/domestic help and climbing the stairs to her 3rd floor unit (no lifts). She does have some form of dementia but can still do & remember simple things. I look after her banking/bills online and someone here mentioned Council help so I will look into that. She does try to do most of her own washing, cleaning etc. Luckily she has a good neighbour to shop for her each day. I do her large heavy grocery shopping and get them delivered. It is very hard on an only child doing all the work when they themselves are not in a position to do so. I don't drive anymore. Thank God I had 3 children so I am not worried when my time comes either for them to look after me or I chose nursing home so I won't be in their hair. Now, nursing homes are becoming scary! What Julia Gillard did for nursing home care was good, but does this still apply now that they're no longer in government?
    Virginia
    10th Oct 2015
    8:36pm
    My Father was in hospital he is 94 and to go home and manage a catheter we enquired for assistance from his private health and they could only provide a nurse at his cost of 88 dollars!!!! ? hour. He was a private patient in a private hospital. He could not manage so stayed in hospital an extra week... What a cost to the private health fund.... but I was told he could go home see his doctor and say he could not cope and he would have the district nurse for nothing!!!!but no package for him. I could not get a carers assistance fee .!!!! What care for a 94 year old and he worked hard and always was a taxpayer!!!!
    ccj
    10th Nov 2015
    1:17pm
    Provider took $430 per week in admin fees from level 4 package 2013-2015...When I queried this with the General Manger she stated that I was "lucky"...other providers charge up to 50-60%. They refused to negotiate this fee. I have always self managed my husband's package.
    Yes I'm "lucky" caring at home for my husband who has early onset dementia, diagnosed at 58!
    When will the providers realise that it is not their money and that my husband's package is not for their arbitrary distribution.

    With the July 2015 CDC arrangements;
    Why is there no CAP on administration fees?
    Why are providers charging an administration "establishment" fee?
    Why wont providers negotiate on self-management fees?
    Why is my husband's provider now allowed to fleece over $17,000 annually from his home care package?
    They take over $300 per week for what???
    They take close to 8 hours a week from his package which I manage!
    Early onset dementia carers have had enough of corporate pillaging of worthy government programs. 2017 will be too late for my husband. He was diagnosed over 5 years ago as needing permanent low level care, dementia specific. I have saved the government hundreds of thousands of dollars by keeping him home. Some aged care homes would not take him because he was too young for their programs and other facilities simply did not have the programs to support an 'ambulated' patient.
    His disease is not of his making, just unlucky.
    It is enough having to manage his disease and his wretched deterioration while managing all of the medical and financial implications.
    I sometimes wonder what would happen if ALL carers just simply stopped 'caring'.
    The cost to the world economies would be catastrophic.
    Meanwhile, I have to keep complaining to the DSS and others and contemplate making a submission to the Human Rights Commission on the exploitation of people's diseases by corporations.
    My husband's provider publish their annual statement...it is staggering the amount of government monies they are receiving, truly staggering! And I have to argue and complain about their excessive fees and charges...
    Who is the real consumer I wonder!
    Libby
    10th Nov 2015
    9:47pm
    They're all "money hungry" scoundrels. I thought Julia Gillard's 2012 speech put a stop to that before she was booted out.She was very emotional after that speech. I'm not sure if if may help you but I still have a copy of her speech. The thing is I wonder if it still applies today? It is called "Home Care Package" as well as Residential Care. I can send it to you via email attachment if you like or try to search on website. Here is a part of it:-
    FUNDING
    • $1.9bn for better access to aged-care services
    • $1.2bn to tackle shortages in the aged-care workforce
    • $80.2m to improve aged-care linkages with the health system
    • $54.8m for support services for carers
    • $268.4m to tackle Australia’s dementia epidemic
    • $192m to ensure people from diverse backgrounds can access aged-care services
    • $1.6bn will be clawed back by cracking down on rorts from aged-care providers claiming
    unnecessary subsidies from the federal government.
    Maggie
    6th Dec 2017
    11:49am
    We are looking at comments from 2015. What is this all about?
    Linda
    8th Dec 2017
    11:31am
    This is about the way business operates in the care industry. There is a lot of variation in the way the money is used that is allocated in the home and residential arrangements to fund the care for elderly and infirm and folks with dementia.

    Libby and ccj have outlined a lot of the problems. I think in the past year or so things have slightly improved, however there are still many problems folks experience. The funding for the various levels of home care packages is from the commonwealth government.

    I suspect the new program rules have been written by the care industry, thus giving them rules that ensure they have adequate funds to deliver the services. Unfortunately, many of the packages and they way they are billed result in half or less of the commonwealth money going to client services.

    The packages are consumer directed, however, there are not enough packages to go around, and after the provider takes their part of the pie, sometimes there is not enough money left for the services needed.

    The services are intended to keep people in their homes and if at all possible the main care is done by a family member or a close friend.

    Caring when the person becomes more dependent, means someone is in the house 24/7 and has to take the responsibility for the health of the person, has to ensure they get food and water, deal with various toileting issues, bathing, trips to the Dr. plus often all the bills, the house maintenance the groceries and errands, the legal matters, and the laundry. In the case of dementia there is also challenging behaviours and basically being an advocate for the person being cared for.

    Some folks have no carer in their homes and may or may not have access to a person who is able to read and understand the contracts folks are being asked to sign.

    The service can by law take a high or low share for their admin costs, their case management (which varies a lot depending on the circumstances).

    The hourly rates charged for the actual service delivery is charged in some cases as double what the worker receives.

    The service has an obligation to the client to be available by phone to the clients, and to provide accounting statements that are clear and understandable.

    Again, there is a lot of variation into how the funds are used. Clients can determine what kind of support services they need, and everyone is different in their needs depending on how much support they receive from family and or friends. There is also variation in the fees the provider charges the package. There is room to take a lot of the funds for inhouse services such as case management and administration. There is variation on transport costs for the people who go to peoples homes and do the jobs. There is variation in the hourly rates charged to the package for these services.

    Some people have wonderful provider who have been very fair and considerate of their clients and others have been predatory in their treatment of clients and how they allocate the funds in the package for the clients.

    It may actually cost 50 percent of the package funds to deliver the services or.... maybe not. I have no way to discover that information.
    Linda
    8th Dec 2017
    11:32am
    I forgot to say that the clients also pay into the package and how much they are asked to pay is based in income and assets.
    Linda
    7th Dec 2017
    4:15pm
    My husband with mobility challenges and dementia has a package. I am the person who does most of the case management, and I call in if he needs any changes to current arrangements. We did manage to change our provider early on when he had a lower level package. The first provider practiced predatory behaviour in their contracts and arrangements and it was taking over half of the money allocated for their needs.

    The second provider has been much better, we are very happy with the quality of what we receive, however it remains that even on the highest package value the service takes all up in Case Management, Administration and loading onto the hourly rate for each service to the point that it also takes half of the money allocated to my husband's package. I am wondering then, if in order to deliver the services, any provider needs about half of the funds allocated in order to offer the services of the package. Changing providers again upsetting our current very satisfactory services that are delivered by quality service providers and we have consistency in that the same people come each time instead of just anyone. The service providers must ensure proper police checks, pay superannuation, and other oncosts. Say the person that comes here receives 25.00 per hour, the actual costs of that person are more because of the oncosts for person plus the company must provide good telephone service, and accounting services to ensure all funds are used according to the rules, plus billing and taking payments. They must have managers, and other behind the scenes personnel too. So, we need to understand that even with a high level package, which is a good bit of money annually, when a person becomes high dependent and there is no carer or only one on deck at home then the funds are used up before all the supports and assistance needed can be covered. This forces folks would would like to stay at home but where the support is not adequate to then seek a residential placement.

    I costs a lot to have everything in place to deliver the services and it can be difficult to understand those behind the scenes costs when there is a carer in the home that can do many of the Case Management tasks.

    I always look to see who in the org. is wearing those big diamond rings and hand tailored shirts, for me that kind of thing has the distinct smell of some kind of poor financial and management practice.