As advocates in the Aged Care sector, understanding how our Federal Budget each year will impact our clients has always been a key focus at Well Placed Care. More funding within the aged care space hugely impacts the wellbeing, safety and quality of care for our senior Australians, which is why we’re happy to see a significant increase in this year’s 2020-21 Budget.
In fact, the Australian Government’s 2020-21 Budget release showcased a record investment of more than $2.7 billion to improve the care and quality of the aged care system. This has been a response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and urgent issues raised by the Royal Commission into Quality and Safety in Aged Care.
(Read our blog ‘There’s Never Been a Better Time to Enter Aged Care’ for more on the recent Interim Report by the Royal Commission into Quality and Safety in Aged Care.)
Here’s what the Australian Government’s 2020–21 Budget will be focusing on:
Home Care Packages:
At the centre of the Federal Budget is Home Care Packages. A record 23,000 additional home care packages – the largest allocation to date – will all be delivered at a cost of $1.6 billion this financial year.
This is on top of the 6,105 packages announced in July 2020 at a cost of $325.7 million. It takes Government investment to almost 30,000 packages, valued at more than $1.9 billion, to be delivered in 2020.
Whilst the increase in Home Care Packages indicates a positive shift in the Government’s investment focus following the Interim report, the higher assessment criteria has made accessing these packages even harder. Not only this, but the waiting period for Home Care Packages is still a prolonged process. The latest official data shows more than 103,000 consumers were waiting for a Home Care Package back in March.
As an aged care advocacy and consultancy service located in Victora we understand now more than ever the urgent need for faster access to Home Care Packages. We want our clients to seek out the care and support they need from their community to stay in their own homes, and we will always advocate for more to be done in this space.
Following the new, stricter requirements to meet the Home Care Package criteria, we want you to put your best foot forward by using a service such as Well Placed Care that not only understands the industry system and language, but can navigate its bureaucracy. We know the difficulties that you may face and are here to help as your aged care experts so you can get the best outcome for you and your family.
This includes your experience during the waiting period. While your family are waiting for your Home Care Package to be processed, we can organise an Interim Care Package so your elderly loved one/s are still accessing the right services to meet their care needs. If you’re wondering how to acquire one of these packages, please contact us.
COVID-19 Aged Care Response Plan:
As you may know, we have been keeping our clients and followers consistently up-to-date on the latest initiatives and plans made in the aged care sector to keep your elderly loved ones safe during the pandemic. (See our Blog & Resources page for more information and updates.)
Building on COVID-19-specific support already provided, and their initial response to the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission report on COVID-19, the Government has now provided an additional $1.6 billion to support the aged care sector’s pandemic response. Overall, the Budget will deliver $746.3 million towards the COVID-19 Aged Care Response Plan.
Some of these funding initiatives include:
- More than $9.1 million to support the establishment of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.
- More than $12.5 million to increase availability of grief & trauma support services for aged care residents & their families.
- $71.4 million for providing support for older Australians who temporarily relocate from residential aged care facilities to live with their family during the pandemic.
Other Areas for Funding:
- $10.3 million in the Aged Care Workforce Council. This will build a workforce with the required skills, attitudes & flexibility to provide high quality consumer‑focused care to older Australians.
- $35.6 million towards the Business Improvement Fund & added funding capacity to provide grants to eligible residential aged care facilities that are experiencing financial difficulty.
Overall, we can see that the recent Budget is an indication of the Government’s commitment to make much-needed improvements into the care and quality of the aged care system. In fact, we are excited to be a part of this movement for aged care reform by ensuring that the needs of senior Australians are prioritised through the services we provide.
If you are seeking out aged care options for your elderly loved one/s, reach out to our independent aged care consultant Pauline Healy. Pauline will provide her expertise and industry knowledge in order to navigate the complexities of the aged care system on your family’s behalf. She will ensure you experience an efficient, informed and gentle transition into care.
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