Government announces $15M funding boost for seniors living at home

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced the funding boost on Thursday. Source: Getty.

The federal government announced they will be investing an additional $15 million to support senior Australians who are living at home independently.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced the funding boost on Thursday, which is intended to help elderly Australians living in their own homes to do so for longer.

This means many more people will be able to live safely at home, secure in the knowledge they can remain in the communities they know and love for as long as possible,” Wyatt said in a statement.

The government said the funding will allow Commonwealth Home Support Program providers to complete thousands of home modifications across the country, meaning “greater certainty and more options” for older Aussies.

Vital modifications which allow people to remain in their own homes safely include the installation of access ramps around the house, grab rails in the shower and hand rails next to steps.

“This $15 million is a significant increase to help meet the growing demand for home-based services,” Wyatt added. “We know senior Australians want as many choices as possible to keep them at home in a secure environment that supports healthy living, especially if they are recovering from surgery or injury.”

The money — which is in addition to the Coalition’s $5 billion aged care boost announced in the 2018–19 Federal Budget — will also go towards services such as domestic assistance, transport, meals and nursing.

At the end of last year the Morrison government released its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, announcing a $552.9 million funding package for aged care, which included the release of 10,000 high-level home care packages.

At the time, the packages were promised “within weeks” and the rollout began earlier this month, with all 10,000 expected to have been delivered by June 30, 2019.

The packages are worth around $287 million and will be split evenly between Level Three and Level Four care. Level Three is targeted towards those with intermediate care needs and provides individuals with a sum of up to $33,000 per year.

While Level Four is suitable for those with high-level care needs, for example those who may require daily visits from a care worker or a nurse, with the government paying out up to $50,250 each year to those in receipt of this package.

Wyatt said the rollout will “help more senior Australians to remain living independently in their own homes” by providing funding for up to $50,000 of care services per person per year including nursing, home assistance, nutrition and meal preparation and transport support.

What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think the government is doing enough to support older Australians who live independently?

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