A welcome boost to aged care as we look to the future

Release date: 10 Feb 2019

The peak body for not-for-profit aged care providers, Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) says today’s announcement of a $662 million boost to the aged care sector is welcome.

“Today’s announcement is very welcome. It will help more people to get the home care they need and help residential aged care providers to support their residents,” Patricia Sparrow CEO of ACSA said.

"In particular, the 10,000 new home care packages will provide relief to thousands of older Australians and their families, keep people independent for longer and provide the kind of flexible care that allows people to remain part of their community.  Increasing the home care dementia and veterans’ supplements will also assist in providing support to people on packages who face additional challenges.

“The $320 million boost for residential aged care also provides much needed support for older Australians and the providers who are caring for them. This is an immediate one-off payment while the trial of a new funding model, which has been signalled in today’s announcement, is undertaken. We all want to get residential care funding right to be able to meet the growing demand and complexity of resident needs.

“The government is listening and working to address issues with a number of recent initiatives including financial support for rural and remote and homeless services, new restorative care places, and the creation of specialist dementia care units.

 “However, there are still big challenges ahead for our ageing nation.  And setting up the future of aged care in Australia is not something the government can do by itself.

 “We also need to examine the way we approach ageing as a community broadly and make the system more flexible and responsive to the kind of care we want for ourselves and our families.

“The Royal Commission, with hearings set to commence tomorrow, will shine a light on many complex challenges and issues that have previously not been talked about.  It’s hard for many of us to talk about ageing, but that’s what we need to do as a nation if we are going to improve the system and make it sustainable into the future.

“The Royal Commission will be important in going right back to the beginning and examining what kind of system we need and how to make that possible.

“We believe that the false idea that we cannot enjoy age and that we cease to contribute after retirement has an impact on quality of care available in Australia. We need to better acknowledge and support the great contributions older Australians make to our communities.”

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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