In response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Royal Commission), the Australian Government is delivering a $17.7 billion aged care reform package.
The reforms will provide better, fairer aged care, and deliver respect, care and dignity to our senior Australians.
The government’s plan for aged care builds on recent aged care quality reforms, including those announced throughout the Royal Commission’s enquiry, COVID-19 pandemic, and in immediate response to the release of the final report.
The aged care reforms build on five pillars over five years:
- home care – supporting senior Australians who choose to remain in their own home
- residential aged care services and sustainability – improving and simplifying residential aged care services and access
- residential aged care quality and safety – improving residential aged care quality and safety
- workforce – supporting and growing a better-skilled care workforce
- governance – new legislation and stronger workforce.
Key Budget initiatives
The key initiatives in the government’s aged care reforms package include:
- $6.5 billion for an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages
- $3.9 billion to increase front line care for senior Australians living in residential aged care
- $3.2 billion to support providers to deliver better care and services through a new Government Basic Daily Fee supplement and continue increases in the homeless and viability supplements
- $630.2 million to improve service delivery for vulnerable groups of senior Australians, including First Nations people, people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk, and people living in rural, regional and remote Australia
- $365.7 million to better support senior Australians transitioning between aged and health care settings, and to improve medication management in residential care settings
- $231.9 million to strengthen the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission with additional resources
- $135.6 million to provide additional financial support for registered nurses working for the same aged care provider over a 12 month period, and those working in rural and remote areas, or holding additional qualifications or training responsibilities
- $49.4 million to enhance training for aged care workers, particularly in dementia care
- $21.1 million to strengthen governance arrangements, including establishing a National Aged Care Advisory Council, Council of Elders and an Inspector-General of Aged Care
- $13.4 million to create a local network of Department of Health staff to ensure national planning and policy is informed by local needs and build provider capacity.
What do the reforms mean for aged care recipients and workers?
Senior Australians and their families and carers will see improved quality, safety, accessibility and equity of aged care services. Better governed providers will deliver services. These reforms will empower senior Australians to have more control and choice over the care services they need.
The reforms will see Australia’s aged care workforce grow, upskill workers and better support them. This will be a workforce that puts the needs, preferences and dignity of senior Australians first.
The package funding for aged care will be fairer and more transparent, with better reporting to government, senior Australians and their families, friends and carers.
Based on a city where the mountain meets the sea and where antique houses line the streets, my mind is free to wonder, to wander and to write.