Funding boost set to transform aged care for older Australians in remote communities

May 28, 2024
Minister for Aged Care, Annika Wells said the funds will provide more accommodation for vulnerable older Australians and improve their quality of life. Source: Getty Images.

Access to quality aged care in First Nations, rural, and remote communities is set to improve thanks to a $135 million investment from the Federal Government.

This investment aims to enable aged care providers in rural and remote areas to build and modernise services, ensuring older Australians can access the care they need.

Over $60 million will be awarded across 30 locations to support care providers to upgrade their aged care homes, while $49 million will be allocated to 27 providers to train and retain staff and reduce the need for agency staff.

Minister for Aged Care, Annika Wells said the funds will provide more accommodation for vulnerable older Australians and improve their quality of life.

“These grants are about creating more home-like environments for residents giving them access to comfortable and modern amenities, more liveable spaces and less shared rooms,” Wells said.

“We want older people to feel at home, to be safe and have the support they deserve regardless of where they live.

“The Albanese Government is investing in aged care so older Australians can better access aged care services in the community they know and love.

“These capital grants ensure appropriate supports are in place for aged care providers to maintain the viability and sustainability of their operations especially in areas of need.”

The grants come after Labor’s 2024 Federal Budget delivered several measures aimed at addressing the unique needs of older Australians. 

In an effort to understand the focal points of this year’s Budget, Starts at 60 compiled a comprehensive guide to the measures that will have the greatest impact for older Australians.

Cost of Living

In an effort to alleviate rising energy prices, the Albanese Government has committed $3.5 billion to offer a $300 rebate on energy costs for all Australian households. From July 1, 2024, all households will see the rebate automatically applied to their electricity bills

For seniors in Australia grappling with soaring rental costs, there will be a 10 per cent boost in Rent Assistance for the 2024-2025 financial year.

Furthermore, deeming rates will remain unchanged for an additional year, benefitting  876,000 income support recipients.

Aged Care

Over $2 billion was committed to strengthen the quality of aged care services for older Australians.

As part of the package;

  • $111.0 million will aim to improve the capability of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
  • $88.4 million to continue to attract and retain workers into the aged care sector.
  • $1.4 billion will be dedicated to upgrading systems and digital infrastructure across the aged care sector.

Cheaper medicines 

Ensuring cheaper medicines for pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Cardholders was also on the card for this year’s Budget with the $1.2 billion Strengthening Medicare package.

As part of the package, $318 million will be invested over five years to keep medicines cheaper, with up to a five-year freeze to the cost of PBS prescriptions for pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Cardholders.

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