Thousands of extra older Australians will be given money to pay for care at home, as part of a $550 million aged care funding boost, 9 News reports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said respect for older Australians is at the heart of the announcement, which will ensure more people who want to age in their homes can do so.
But Labor says the funding goes nowhere near demand, which is rising faster than the government has funded it.
The government is funding 10,000 new home care packages for people with high-level care needs, at a cost of $287 million by mid-2022.
Half of the new packages will involve payments of up to $33,000 per individual each year, while the other half – for older people with the greatest care needs – will involve payments of up to $50,250.
The extra packages, which will be available from early 2019, come after the government offered 20,000 more packages in the past year.
The latest Department of Health annual report put the total number of home care packages delivered in 2017/18 at about 100,000.
Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates welcomed the funding but said when people need a high level of care, they can’t afford to wait.
Leading Aged Care Services – which represents providers – said the new packages were a step in the right direction but not enough to meet the changing needs of Australians in all care settings.
Meanwhile, NSW has established an Ageing and Disability Commissioner tasked with investigating the abuse of vulnerable residents, news.com.au reports.
NSW establishes aged care commissioner (news.com.au)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison