Biggest change to aged care in 25 years to allow people to stay at home

Aged care has needed a shake-up for a long time, and finally there’s been some positive movement for the first

Aged care has needed a shake-up for a long time, and finally there’s been some positive movement for the first time in 25 years.

The new changes are designed to help the sick and elderly stay in their own homes for longer by paying for services when government subsidies run out, reports the ABC.

Aged and Community Services Australia CEO John Kelly said aged care was becoming a user-pays model, particularly if people wanted to stay in their own home.

“At the moment it still goes to the provider, which is the old classic model,” he said.

But from February next year the money will go straight into people’s bank accounts, not to the care providers, meaning people will have a choice about what care they need.

One such example is Edna Mewitt, who told the ABC “I will stay here until they take me away in a little wood casket”.

The 91-year-old lives in her daughter’s granny flat and has a home care package through Blue Care.

The changes are certainly welcome as more than a million Australians are currently in the aged care system, at a cost of $17 billion a year. Many Starts at 60 readers might use these services or know someone who does.

National Seniors Australia CEO Michael O’Neill said in-home care in the future could involve means-testing the family home.

“I think increasingly it is the family home that will be the mechanism which will be the target of governments for you to pay for your aged care,” he said.

Tell us, do you know someone in care? Is this positive news?

  1. Stuart Fraser  

    What a grand idea l want die in my own home and when you have worked in age care homes you would rather stay in your own home

  2. trisha  

    About time. We never want to go into aged care! If this is true it will enable the majority of people to be able to stay at home. We visit friends in an aged care facility, and although they are in the section that they paid over $300000 to get into, they are just so unhappy. They could stay in a small unit, with this extra care and be so much happier.
    Bravo to Australia for heading in this direction.

  3. Mary Merrington  

    One has to realise that if one gets to the point of being unable to attend to anything at all in the way of the Activities of Daily Living then one becomes a high care case whereby one is taken by ambulance to hospital and/or an aged care facility for total care.
    Health care workers are mandated to do assist to the max or be charged with negligence.
    It is ok to be stubborn and think that one will adamantly stay put in one’s home until one ends up in a wooden casket but it does not work that way as my father found out.

    • Claire Hancock  

      I am looking after an elderly friend with exactly the same mindset, Mary. She says she intends to die in her own home. I have spoken to both her GP and the coordinator of the government-subsidised home-care that she receives about my friend’s wishes. They both say that when the day arrives when she cannot get out of her chair, out of bed, or off the loo, then an ambulance will have to be called to take her to hospital so that her immediate needs can be provided, and then she will be moved to the first available vacancy in a residential aged care facility.

  4. Margaret Thomas  

    Sounds ok I’m near 71yrs feeling ok except for my 5 Bulging Discs and Sciatica which makes me Disabled as far as Walking Far Unless I have my Walkie I am hoping to sell my home move closer to Family might have to Rent as much Dearer there I have no Problem Driving Sleeping Sitting not at Walking so if you stay in your own Home the Government takes Control of your Assetts of which you may have Planned Too Leave Too your Children How can that Happen

  5. facebook_anne.mills.73  

    My dear parents lived in Aged Care for 3 years and frankly it was the best place for their care, and let me add they were happy. They were both wheel chair bound and had to be lifted to the toilet. There is no way this can be done in your own home. Even with a carer at home the carer cannot manage to lift without special equipment. The Aged Care homes have activities every day, e.g. Games, Singing, Handcraft, Gentle Exercises and Special event Days like the Melbourne Cup, so loneliness is not a problem. Even a Coffee Shop with volunteers running it for visitors. Your can’t get that in your own home by yourself. We have to be realistic, we cannot all predict that we will live in our own homes until taken out in a wooden box.
    The Government is ‘hoodwinking’ us into thinking we need to be in our own homes until we die. Aged Care Home will always be very much needed. They are not all bad and dreary!!!

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