Currently, demand for in-home care for the elderly has reached such high levels that those in need of the highest-level care packages could be forced to wait more than a year for the help they need.
This year, the federal government budget is set to begin addressing the problem.
You may have seen in the news recently that the federal government has announced that it will distribute its $100 billion spend across the sector including training, an increased focus on in-home care and streamlined services for aged care.
- Good news, but can we sustain it?
The Guardian recently reported that the budget would be increased to cover funding for around 105,000 people on the waiting list for in-home care. Ian Yates, head of the Council on the Ageing, said that the increased portion of the budget to aged care is good news, but cautions that more needs to be done to prepare for the future.
- Why is there such debate?
After the budget announcements, there is debate about whether the government’s $1.6 billion Home Care Package is what it appears to be. The Labor Party has criticised the Coalition for merely reallocating funds from residential care to in-home care. The party claims that the $1.6 billion allocated to fund nursing homes will now be used to cover 14,000 Home Care Packages.
- What does the elderly population have to say?
Aged care should not be a bipartisan issue. It is about a precise analysis of the needs of the population. Residential care is more expensive than home care, and there has been a decrease in demand for residential care in recent years. Home care is more popular, partly because it helps the elderly remain in their homes for longer.
The Federal Government’s commitment to begin addressing the needs for increased in-home care is a good start. The focus should be on the wellbeing of all Australians who see in-home care, which will help them to stay connected with their family and community while receiving the services they need.
If you would like more information about how you can access Government funding for in-home care, or want more information about a Home Care Package, be sure to get in touch with us anytime!