Last month 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 on Tuesday, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced that the rollout of the packages will commence this week.
The packages are worth around $287 million and will be split evenly between Level Three and Level Four care, with all 10,000 expected to have been delivered by June 30, 2019.
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.
Home Care Packages are coordinated packages of care and services which are designed to help Australians live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
There are four levels of home care packages catering different levels of care needs, ranging from basic care needs, which include every day tasks such as housework, to those with high-level care needs.
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.
Along with 20,000 further packages which were funded in the past year, these new packages will see a 40 per cent increase in the number of people receiving home care packages.
“Our Government is also keeping more money in the pockets of 70,000 senior Australians, by reducing the maximum contribution they can be asked to make through the basic daily fee by up to $400 per year for Level One packages, $200 a year for Level Two packages and $100 a year for Level Three packages,” Wyatt added.
“These savings are part of our Government’s unprecedented aged care reforms to help ensure senior Australians receive the care they want and deserve, where and when they need it.”
In December, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: “Total spending on aged care is expected to reach a record $23.5 billion in 2021-22. This includes bringing forward the release of 10,000 home care packages to connect more older Australians with high-level support and providing additional support to Australians in residential aged care in regional, rural and remote areas and those at risk of homelessness.”
Frydenberg also announced the establishment of a new National Elder Abuse Hotline for older people and their families.