10,000 new home care packages worth over $850 million announced today ahead of the MYEFO have been welcomed by Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia as another positive response to its advocacy for reducing wait times for older Australians in need of support to keep living at home.
COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates thanked the Federal Government for responding to COTA’s call for more packages in MYEFO, and also supporters of the Safer at Home campaign, which is asking for a maximum one month waiting period for home care by the end of 2021, as proposed by the Aged Care Royal Commission.
“Today’s announcement is yet another promising step by the government towards ensuring all older Australians can live at home as long as they are able to, and are not prematurely forced into residential care while they wait for care at home,” says Mr Yates.
“This investment brings to nearly 40,000 the number of new home care packages funded this financial year. This gives us hope that the government is well on the way to making age care reform a major Budget priority, for which I commend them.
“Time and again older Australians tell us they want to live at home for as long as they can, with current forms of residential care a last resort. However, each year 19,000 people who are approved by government for home care are forced into residential care before they receive a package. Tragically, another 10,000 die while waiting for the care they need and deserve.
“It is vitally important that older Australians are afforded the respect and dignity of being supported to live in their own home as long as they are able to with proper supports. The current system simply isn’t working, with many people waiting over 12 months for their package and lots of money being wasted.
“That is why COTA launched the Safer at Home campaign. No one should suffer preventable isolation, illness or injury because they are not afforded the support they deserve.
“The Morrison Government must continue rolling out these new home care packages to reduce wait times to one month by the end of 2021 deadline.”