The federal government this week announced a $967 million commitment to boosting aged care, including 13,500 new residential places across Australia.
The commitment includes new aged care places in regional and rural areas and a $60 million capital works program to refurbish aged care homes in priority rural and regional centres.
These are steps in the right direction to help fix massive shortcomings in the aged care system, but the longer-term focus needs to be on developing a comprehensive national aged care services funding and planning strategy and long-term sustainable solutions.
We’ve known we have an ageing population for decades so while the government has pumped a lot of additional funding into home and residential care, it seems to always be playing catch-up.
National Seniors also is calling on the government to:
- immediately improve the quality and safety of residents by requiring aged care providers to publish staff-to-resident ratios, which will lead to more suitably qualified and dedicated professional care staff being employed, and
- all aged care staff in direct care roles to have basic dementia training as a minimum service requirement.
Information about the 2018–19 Aged Care Approvals Round outcomes, including details of the successful providers, is available here.