Older Australians in Hasluck will benefit from the Turnbull Government’s 2017 Federal Budget with continued funding of $5.5 billion to enable people to stay in their own homes.
Federal Minister for Aged Care and Member for Hasluck, Ken Wyatt, said that he had worked to ensure that the Commonwealth Home Support Programme was continued for two years from 1 July 2018.
“As the Minister responsible for Aged Care, I have seen first-hand the enormous benefits of this program, and how it helps older Australians remain independent and in their own home for longer. Australians want to remain in their homes as they age, it feels familiar, it's where we feel safe and it’s the one place we can call our own. That is why I was so pleased to be able to advocate for and secure funding certainty for this program over the next two years” said Mr Wyatt.
This home support program provides a range of essential services to the community such as meals on wheels, personal care, nursing and allied health and respite services.
“This funding includes help with services like cleaning and shopping, home maintenance and modifications – basic but essential services for older people who choose to stay in their homes as they age” said Mr Wyatt
“This funding will provide continuity of essential support services to around 900,000 older Australians to help them continue living at home, in their communities” said Mr Wyatt.
Mr Wyatt said this measure will also provide funding certainty to more than 1600 CHSP service providers enabling them to plan and make business decisions beyond June 2018.
The Federal Budget will also provide additional funding of $3.1 million for ICT support for the My Aged Care platform.
“This measure affects all My Aged Care users including over 33,000 employees of service providers and assessment organisations that use My Aged Care on a daily basis to maintain their service information and client referrals” Mr Wyatt said.
Mr Wyatt said the Aged Care components of the Budget are designed to give better services and certainty to consumers of aged care, their families and carers and to the many organisations that provide services for older Australians.
“These components will be supported by an independent review of the Commonwealth’s aged care quality regulatory processes to ensure that older Australians live in the best possible environment in their later years” Mr Wyatt said.
Astley Care, which supports close to 1000 aged people living in the Cities of Gosnells and Armadale to remain living at home, with increased quality of life, welcomes the recent announcements made by the Turnbull Government.
“We are particularly pleased to find that our funding will be assured until June 2020 so we can provide continuity of care, that funds will be provided through the Workforce Strategy to provide training so our workforce is equipped to provide quality services and that additional funding will be provided to enhance My Aged Care services” said Anne Hutcheson, CEO of Astley Care.
Minister Wyatt said with this continued funding aged care investment over the next five years will be $99.3 billion.
Another important Budget measure is the funding to establish an aged care industry-led taskforce to explore short, medium and longer term options to boost supply, address demand and improve productivity for the aged care workforce.
“It is estimated the aged care sector will need to expand the workforce to 980,000 by 2050 to respond to the demand of an ageing population” Mr Wyatt said.
Mr Wyatt said a strategic approach to building workforce capacity is needed given the significant structural changes now underway in aged care.
The taskforce will consult widely within the sector and engage with other sectors, including disability, education and employment.
“As the Australian population ages we owe it to our nation builders to provide access to the very best quality care and safety” said Mr Wyatt.