The important changes coming to home care you need to know

Jun 02, 2023
Many older adults who wish to maintain their independence and dignity by ageing in place rely on the assistance of Commonwealth-funded home care packages. Source: Getty Images.

Home care packages play a crucial role in supporting older Australians to live independently and comfortably in their own homes as they age.

Such packages have long been a lifeline for seniors, offering a range of personalised services tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals.

However, the landscape of home care packages is evolving, with imminent changes set to impact the lives of older Australians.

Beginning July 1, the Australian Government subsidy will go up by 11.9 per cent. This increase covers both the regular indexation update and wage cost adjustments.

The increase comes after the government announced a substantial pay increase for the nation’s aged care workers, given this increase home care providers will likely need to increase the cost of some services such as nursing and cleaning services.

However, there is no need to panic just yet about forking out more money to ensure your services remain the same as any additional costs are expected to be covered by the increase in your home care package budget.

If your prices do change, your provider will be in touch before July 1 2023 to confirm:

  • Why the prices need to change.
  • What those prices include.
  • When the new prices will start.

In the event that your service provider needs to modify the charges for the services you receive, they are obligated to revise your home care agreement before implementing any changes.

Those with a home care package will receive a letter from Minister for Aged Care, The Hon Anika Wells MP outlining the changes in the coming weeks.

For more information regarding the changes, recipients can visit the My Aged Care or the Department of Health and Aged Care website. Additionally, those receiving home care can speak with their provider.

Many older adults who wish to maintain their independence and dignity by ageing in place rely on the assistance of Commonwealth-funded home care packages which have increased in demand over the last decade, with more than 216,000 Australians now accessing the program.

While an extra 9500 home care packages were recently announced in the Federal Budget, National Centre for Healthy Ageing (NCHA) Professor Velandai Srikanth recently told ABC Breakfast’s Fauziah Ibrahim that more needs to be done to address the growing demand among those who wish to age in place.

“I think the step towards increasing Home Support Packages is a good one. But there is a lot of work that needs to be done to try and gear up to provide the kind of care that’s going to be required,” Srikanth said.

“If people want to stay at home for as long as possible and thrive at home their health care needs to be considered.

“The Royal Commission has reported to us that 80 per cent of Australians want to be at home as they get older and thrive at home as successfully as they can, for as long as possible. The Baby Boomers clearly are going to want to stay at home as they get to the point of requiring more care.”

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