$467m increase in aged care subsidies

Morrison government investments in aged care totalling $467 million began taking effect in the form of subsidy increases yesterday.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the major rise was a $320 million boost in residential aged care subsidies, equating to an average additional $1800 per permanent resident.

“This is an up-front payment to support all providers in the care of their residents over the next 18 months, while the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety goes about its work,” Mr Wyatt said.

“It will be paid as a 9.5 per cent increase in the subsidy for residents in mainstream residential aged care until 30 June 2019.”

Mr Wyatt said the boost provided additional support to the sector to deliver quality aged care services while the federal government considered longer-term reform funding options.

The government was absolutely committed to providing senior Australians and the aged care sector with the support they needed to provide quality services.

Service providers that supported senior Australians living in regional areas would receive an additional $101.9 million annual boost, as the viability supplement for eligible small, rural and remote residential aged care providers increased by 30% from yesterday.

More than 550 services, accounting for around 13,500 residential care places, received the viability supplement to offset higher care costs in regional areas.

Mr Wyatt said the federal government was also providing an additional $35.7 million to increase home care supplements for people with moderate to severe levels of cognitive impairment and veterans with a mental health condition.

Seniors with a history of, or who were at risk of, homelessness will also receive a 30% boost through a $9.3 million funding injection for providers specialising in services for the homeless.

This would help the more than 1700 residents who were supported through 42 residential services across the country.

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