Aged care

Home care reform to continue

National Seniors is urging members to provide feedback about their experiences of home care services to inform a submission to the Federal Government.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the government had released a public discussion paper on future care at home reforms, with the deadline for submissions 21 August.

“National Seniors will be making a submission, but it’s important our members tell us how the current home care system is working – or not working – for them,” Mr Henschke said.

Baby re-ignites energy and speech among people with dementia

This week’s feel-good news story comes from the Feros Care Bangalow Residential Village in the northern New South Wales Byron Bay hinterland.

One of the residents is 83-year-old Morleen, who is living with dementia. She is often agitated and hard to understand, appears not to be connected to what’s happening around her, and is generally frustrated.

Enter Feros Manager Shelly Fletcher and her six-month-old baby Lola, who visit the residents at the village weekly.

My Aged Care website improved

The Federal Government says it has streamlined its My Aged Care website, making it easier to navigate for older people and for health professionals.

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, said the changes included clarification of who could speak on a consumer’s behalf, and under what circumstances.

“If a person is capable of consenting to someone speaking and acting on their behalf in My Aged Care, he or she now has greater flexibility in appointing a regular representative, and who that person can be,” Mr Wyatt said.

Call for more support for people with dementia and their families

A new discussion paper calls on the federal government to fund quality respite and counselling services to ensure people living with dementia, their carers and families are well supported.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW’s Relationships and Dementia, calls for more help for people to work through complex feelings of grief and loss.

Preparing for the aged care ‘silver tsunami’

A new report warns Australia is under-prepared for an imminent and radical change to the way the Federal Government funds residential aged care services.

Researchers from the Institute for Health and Ageing at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) say older Australians receiving Commonwealth assistance will be increasingly empowered to make decisions about how they spent it, moving away from a historical funding system that allocated funding to aged care providers.

Online resource for end-of-life care

A new website aims to provide evidence-based medical and practical information for the palliative care of older people at the end of life.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said civilisation could be measured by how it treated its older people.

“This is even more meaningful when it comes to caring for the aged and vulnerable at the concluding stages of their lives,” he said.

“This new online resource, www.palliAGED.com.au, collects under one umbrella a wide range of valuable research data and information.

Federal Budget 2017-18: Summary of budget measures

Downsizing

National Seniors believes the government’s initiative is more about enabling contributions into superannuation than downsizing.

The government introduced the initiative to allow people aged 65 and over to sell the family home and roll up to $300,000 ($600,000 couples) into superannuation.

The policy is scheduled to come into effect from 1 July 2018.

Government to set aged care quality standards

Australian government-subsidised aged care services will have to meet a single set of quality standards under reforms due to come into force from July next year.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the Single Aged Care Quality Framework had been designed in consultation with industry and aged care representatives.

Two key parts of the framework are:

Changes bring more choice in aged care at home

New measures come into force next week, giving older people greater choice in their in-home aged care.

From Monday, 27 February, consumers will be able to change aged care providers if they wish, or if they move to another area to live.

The Commonwealth Health Department said that if people do make a change, the funding for their aged care services package will be transferred to their new provider.

No action is required if they are happy with services from their current provider.

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