Our current Aged Care system is inconsistent, confusing and unsustainable. The Productivity Commission’s report which was released last year suggested many ways to streamline the delivery of aged care services – and to help older Australians, forced by ill health and frailty into high level residential care facilities, to unlock some of the equity in their homes to fund this care. There are many issues underlying the Productivity Commission’s report’s recommendations. What will be the government’s response.
Firstly, until the Prime Minister actually makes a statement on this matter, we are dealing with conjecture. So YOURLifeChoices will assess the changes after they are released and report on the implications for our members.
Importantly, we recognise that there will be almost double the number of over-60 year olds in the next 30 or so years. We are all living longer. This is a good thing. But at some stage someone, somewhere, will have to fund the care that we may need and will expect if, in our final years we are afflicted with ill health. And the funds needed will be high. But there is a glimmer of hope and this is something I heard a lot about yesterday while attending a conference for Information Technology in Aged Care (ITAC). Due to a confluence of amazing advances in IT, coupled with the coming NBN connections, many more Australians can expect to receive world-class care in their own homes. And ongoing telecare monitoring means they can, and will, live longer at home. In fact, a vast majority (more than 85 per cent) will probably never need to move to residential care. The exception to this is, of course, those suffering from dementia. The Federal Government is reported to be increasing funding to support such sufferers – we will wait and see if this is true.