National Seniors Australia has led the fight for increasing the number of Level 3 and 4 packages.
The Federal Government responded to the recommendations in the aged care royal commission this week and announced a further 10,000 home care packages at a cost of $496.3 million. While this funding package goes some way to increase the number of taxpayer-subsidised home care packages available it is still far short of demand.
While the 10,000 extra packages is welcomed, it is not nearly enough to meet the demand -120,000 people are waiting to get services.
The sad fact is the number of packages is unlikely to ever match demand. And there will always be a waiting period that does not satisfy the demands of ageing people and their families.
So, are there other care options while you wait for the subsidised package you need?
Here’s another option for entry level support. It’s quicker to access the Commonwealth Home Support Program. It is taxpayer subsidised, although you will be expected to pay as well.
The program provides limited support for selected services, depending on the provider. You can pay more for more services. Consumers register with the government gateway My Aged Care and have their needs assessed. You don’t control how the money is spent and you don't you see how much you can access.
Your GP can help connect you with other forms of support to help you remain at home. Depending on your health needs, your GP may be able to:
- arrange a Care Plan so you can access 5 free visits to an allied health professional
- request half-price taxis
- connect you with community support and volunteer organisations in your area.
Aside from subsidised services, there is the option of paying out of your own pocket.
Unless you have surplus income, it could mean selling assets to generate the required funds. We recommend consulting a financial advisor to discuss what your best options are before making a decision.
It is important to remember that funding your own home care could be just a temporary step while you wait for the subsidised services you were promised.
Once delivered, you have the choice of withdrawing the privately funded services or transferring to a government approved provider. Ideally, you would choose a private provider that is approved to delivery subsidised home care services, so this transition is more seamless.
If you want to understand more about funding your own care, contact a service provider. A list of home care providers in your area can be accessed through the myagedcare website.
The more care you get at home, the longer you will remain healthy and safe and you’ll avoid having to go to an aged care home.
Keep informed about the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and help drive sector reform, particularly in regards to Home Care.
Together, we can make a difference.