What will aged care reforms mean for you?

Our current Aged Care system is inconsistent, confusing and unsustainable.

What will Aged Care reforms mean for you?, PM Julia Gillard, Changes, Health, Services, Seniors, Australia

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.


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    20th Apr 2012
    A relative of mine went to the semi-dependent section of a retirement village. She had a bed-sitter, all meals, cleaning and linen provided. It was user pays for showering, medication supervision etc. She had early dementia but didn't wander. It was more of a memory loss issue and risks with cooking. There was carers on duty 24/7 and an EN during the day. Minor illness was treated on-site by the carers or she was transferred to hospital. She had full ambulance membership so that was not an issue we had to be concerned about. There was an ememgency bell/speaker system in her room which was always answered immediately. The only disadvantage afterwards was waiting for repayment of her puchase price less %. In our case they didn't start refurbishing for about 6 weeks after she vacated her room, but most villages start as soon as you vacate.
    20th Apr 2012
    Around here all the homes available want almost 100% control over every penny you've got or likely to get. One place was so bad they didn't even leave you enough to afford a phone of your own let alone having an internet connection, They must think you are completely stupid or something.
    20th Apr 2012
    There are concerns in regards to unlocking some of the equity in your own home to help pay for possible future care in old age. This would need to be explored with a fine tooth comb, as this will require the equity being repaid, as the longer it occurs, and with higher and higher interest rates, the monies would never be paid back. This in turn would cost far more than the equity monies allocated.

    It maybe better off as we become aged to sell our homes and just rent premises late in life. That way we can have savings in our bank for emergencies, travel when required, and contribute to our care should we reach a possible high level of care. Also, being a member of hospital/medical insurance, this could also assist, should one have to go into higher care. After all many of us pay insurance, and are lucky enough not have to use it. So extra funds should be made available individually, and accumulate as a certain percentage of our payments over time.

    I feel this needs a great deal of thought and discussion in regards to this proposal, and should involve pensioners and home owners contributing to the discussions. Not just the political parties making decisions, as they are often not in this situation and have no idea what it would be like for aged folk.
    21st Apr 2012
    MAC22, you would lose pension and govt. benefits that go with it, that you have paid you taxes all those years. Medical benefits don't pay for high care facilities at all. Wish they did! They charge way more than the pension. I wouldn't be without my health insurance. Under the public system you often wait months to see specialists, have tests done, and surgery if needed but is deemed elective you can wait years. Yes, I know a guy who waited years for knee surgery - it ended up being a replacement instead of repair. Living in "close spaces" in flats and units scares some people. But you don't have to worry about maintenance. There is also a huge shortage of rental properties in many areas and people often like to be in areas close to family and friends. Some rentals are so expensive it is beyond a joke, some with luxuries that a lot of aged people don't want or need and in many cases have to clean etc. I reckon there should be community meetings in various locations, preferrably during the day as many aged folk don't like going out at night at all. Low Care Aged facilities are assets tested, home included and you are left with a few thousand dollars worth. You then pay 85% of your pension in fees and have to buy clothing, toiletries, medication and anything else you need or desire. High care Stage charges are higher than the pension but they do provide some "selected" toiletries, incontinence products if needed etc.
    21st Apr 2012
    Productivity !! Does that mean the Govt. are going to cut care subsidies that help with wages. Most Aged care Facilities don't have enough staff now. They have a ratio of 1 carer.... to ..... residents. In many cases 2 carers are needed to assist a resident (especially in high care section) which means the ratio is halved when care is needed and waiting times are lengthened. I have witnessed residents left on a commode for 1/2 hour despite ringing their bells and a visitor reported it or it may have been longer.

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