Senior Australians on the Gold Coast will benefit from a nationwide allocation of an additional $662 million for essential aged care services, including 10,000 home care packages around Australia, as the Liberal National Government’s More Choices for a Longer Life program ramps up.
Gold Coast MP Karen Andrews welcomed the investment, saying it will increase aged care access and further strengthen safety, quality and transparency.
“This builds on our Government’s $562 million aged care boost in the December Budget update and our annual aged care funding increases of approximately $1 billion a year since 2013,” Minister Andrews said.
“This is a major win for senior Australians, including here on the Gold Coast, delivering the services and security our local people deserve, whether in their own homes or in a residential aged care facility.”
The national funding will boost the Liberal National Government’s investment in home care, through an additional 10,000 home care packages across all levels, at a cost of $282.4 million.
“This new investment in home care aims to support more people to access care sooner,” Minister Andrews said.
“It will benefit people who are waiting for a home care package. People will receive the support they require sooner, so that they can remain living at home and in their communities for longer. It will also delay entry into more costly residential aged care.”
There is also new funding to enhance the safety, quality and integrity of home care, at a cost of $7.7 million.
Under our Government’s funding boost, there are also increases to home care supplements for dementia and cognition and veterans, at a cost of $35.7 million.
As well, senior Australians receiving residential aged care services will benefit from:
Increased support for aged care providers, with a $320 million general subsidy boost in 2018–19
- A $4.6 million trial of a new residential care funding tool to replace the Aged Care Funding Instrument
- A $4.2 million mandatory national aged care quality indicator program
Both residential and home care providers will be supported through a new $7.4 million business advisory service, to help improve their operations.
“The immediate $320 million increase in subsidy payments will help strengthen the viability of residential aged care services,” Minister Andrews said.
Building on our Government’s record commitment to aged care transparency, a new compulsory quality indicator program is being implemented. The program will enable publication of a national report on the quality indicator results.
“The mandatory national quality indicator program will include indicators on the use of physical restraint, as well as pressure sores and weight loss. It is a crucial part of better regulating the use of restraint in aged care.
Options for the expansion of the current quality indicators will be investigated, including establishing an indicator for the critical measure of medication management.”
Further on 17 December 2018, the Government announced 10,000 additional home care packages, reduced home care fees to keep more money in the pockets of senior Australians, increased viability supplements for residential aged care, and a $98 million fee incentive for doctors visiting aged care homes.
“Thanks to our Government’s strong economic management, in the past year we have announced an additional 40,000 home care packages and $115 million to grow the Commonwealth Home Support Program,” Minister Andrews said.
“This is about more choices for a longer life – giving senior Australians more aged care options and supporting them to live independently for as long as possible.”