National Seniors Australia says the new figure of 120,000 older Australians waiting for a home care package, shows the situation is still in crisis and needs to be urgently addressed.
The figure was publicly released this morning by the Department of Health and shows of those on the waiting list, most are waiting more than a year.
National Seniors acknowledges the number of people waiting has come down and appreciates the Federal Government is acting to turn a ballooning list into a shrinking one.
However, Chief Advocate Ian Henschke says much more needs to be done and it’s in everyone’s best interest to do so.
“Older Australians overwhelmingly want to stay in their home, which costs the government less than placing them in nursing homes,” he said.
“We continue to hear of people dying waiting for the home care package they desperately needed and others ending up in residential care prematurely.”
National Seniors continues its call to double the number of level 3 and level 4 home care packages.
The high-level packages are the ones most needed.
As the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety revealed, 16,000 older Australians died waiting for a home care package last year.
The commission also revealed 13,000 were placed into residential care while waiting for the package they didn’t get.
“In the upcoming budget, we hope the government will hear the desperate cries of carers who want some care put back into aged care.”
“They are helping their loved ones and they just need a helping hand themselves,” Mr Henschke said.