Another 6000 high-level home care packages are set to be released this year to meet the ever-increasing demand across the country, as a new report revealed that thousands of Australians are currently unable to access them.
It comes as a Department of Health report released this week revealed the high amount of elderly Australians who had applied for a home care package and yet were still waiting to receive one from the government.
The report states that over 53,000 people are currently waiting to be assigned a package, and another 35,000 are living on a lower-level package, despite their current needs requiring them to have a higher-level package instead.
Chief Executive of the Council of Aging Australians, Ian Yates said the lack of available packages was “far greater than expected”, and that things would need to change quickly to address the growing problem.
To counter the issue, Minister of Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, announced on Thursday that an additional 6000 high-level packages would become available this financial year.
He explained that introducing these packages would be cost-neutral because the high-level packages would become available by converting them from unused low-level packages.
As of June 2016, there were 10,600 unoccupied Level 1 and Level 2 packages.
A Different Approach
It comes at a time when more and more elderly Australians are requiring higher levels of care, prompting many experts to say that there should be a change in focus to better meet the demand for those requiring high-level care.
Just this week, a report known as the Tune Review was released which stated its belief and recommendation that there should be a larger focus on providing high-level packages.
It suggested one way to do this was to temporarily re-allocate unoccupied residential places to home care.
Elsewhere, Aged and Community Services Australia CEO Pat Sparrow said that the figures revealed in the Department of Health’s revealed provided further evidence that the government should increase its overall investment in home care.
“Aged and Community Services Australia wants to see a balanced aged care system that supports the care needs of all older Australians allowing those with higher care needs to access services but not at the expense of those requiring lower level care,” she said.
Revamp of Information
Also this week, the government announced it would be dramatically updating its My Aged Care system, which provides information to Australians wishing to access all manner of care services.
Support will be streamlined through a $20 million investment into the program. It is hoped the additional funding will promote better public access to services for people, especially those living in rural, regional and remote areas of the country.
We here at Home Caring are a Bondi Junction based home care service that always aims to provide the best care available for you. If you would like to know how our team can help, get in contact today.