In-home care provider Just Better Care has welcomed the government’s 2018/19 Federal Budget announcement and commitment to in-home aged care, saying the additional 14,000 Home Care Packages are a necessary reprieve for people who have been waiting upwards of 12 months to access essential services.
“The increase in Home Care Packages means more older people in our communities across Australia will have access to the essential daily services they need to remain living independently in their own homes,” said Alison Chandler, COO Just Better Care Australia.
Ms Chandler said the $1.6 billion injection would make a much needed dent in the national prioritisation queue, which in December last year hovered close to 105,000 people.
“Reprieve is now in sight for close to 74,000 people who will be able to access home care packages by mid-2022. This is a proactive approach by the government to an ageing Australia and shows recognition for the need to prepare properly for an ageing population.
Ms Chandler shares the concern that there will still be a large number of older Australians who will be waiting in line for over a year for in-home support services.
“Our customers – your parents, grandparents, neighbours and friends – can’t keep waiting for support services, such as help getting out of bed, showering and dressing, and shopping for fresh groceries. These are basic necessities no one should have to go without.”
Ms Chandler also welcomed the $40 million investment in regional, rural and remote aged care to improve access to services.
“Our offices that operate in rural and regional areas are alongside the motion to bring more choice to older people living in these areas of Australia.
“We hope the 2018/19 Federal Budget will set a precedent for aged care funding for generations to come. Australia has an ageing population. It is projected by 2056, there will be 8.7 million Australians aged over 65 – that’s more than double the current 3.7 million,” Ms Chandler said.
“The additional funding also means we will need more people to deliver support services, creating more demand for workers in community care. We are certainly seeing some great changes to the industry coming through this year, which we hope will continue.
“Alongside the recent announcement of an efficient aged care ratings system and an independent advisory committee to further safeguard the safety and welfare of customers, this budget announcement should give customers and their families added peace of mind that support is coming their way.”
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