Preparing for Our Future Now
Australia’s aged care system was designed for another era and is in desperate need of reform.
The system is very complicated and confusing and the costs are putting pressure on the quality and availability of services.
Too often older people are missing out on the support they need to help them live at home or are having to move into residential care miles from family and friends – at a time when they need them most.
The independent Productivity Commission report Caring for Older Australian’s recommended comprehensive reform to the aged care sector to provide a system which is more simple, fair, affordable and equitable for all Australians.
The recommendations put people’s needs front and centre and followed a community based model to ensure older Australians remain supported in their own homes for as long as possible.
On Friday, 20 April, 2012 the Federal Government announced a package of reforms which included a significant number of recommendations from the Productivity Commission and campaigned for by Australians Deserve to Age Well supporters.
These reforms, Living longer, Living Better, are an encouraging beginning and will set Australia on a path to providing better care for older Australians for the long term.
Some of the key elements of the propsed 10-year reform package are:
- Initiatives to help people age in their own homes including more funding for in home services and greater choice on how they are delivered;
- The creation of a one-stop shop website for aged care information;
- Expanded respite and counselling services for families caring for older people;
- Better funding for residential beds and more consistent and transparent funding arrangements for residential care;
- The creation of a Compact to improve aged care workers pay and conditions;
- Measures to tackle dementia including assistance for GPs to make early diagnosis and more funding for people living with dementia in residential and home care;
- Better integration of aged and palliative care and expanded staff training for palliative care; and
- Initiatives to address the challenges of older people from diverse backgrounds.
Click here for the full range of reform proposals.
In announcing these reforms the Government acknowledged the need to get rid of the arbitrary and unfair aged care ratios but stopped short of doing so.