The Government is allocating 13,500 new residential aged care places, 775 short term restorative care places and another $60 million in capital investment funded by an extra $5 billion over the next four years.
The new places are based on the Government’s current aged care provision ratio, which provides 113 subsidised care places for every 1,000 people aged 70 or over.
In a piece for The Conversation, University of Technology Health Economics Professor Michael Woods points out that the average age of a person receiving a home care package increased to 82.5 in 2015-16 while the average age for entering residential care was 84.
In response, the Government is changing the mix of home care and residential places in its target of 125 places per 1,000 people. By 2021-22, the home care package target will jump from 27 to 45 per 1,000, while the residential target will drop from 88 to 78 per 1,000 with two extra places for restorative care.
In 2015-16, the average government subsidy for home care consumers was $16,760, compared to $48,403 for aged care residents – though the higher Level 3 and 4 packages wipe out most of this difference.
Ian Yates, the chief executive officer of Council on the Ageing Australia, also makes a valid point. While he has welcomed this reallocation of funding, he notes finding enough workers to service the just announced 14,000 extra home care packages will be difficult enough in the short term.
The Government’s 2018-19 ACAR consultation ends next Monday, 28 May 2018.
You can access the survey for the consultations by contacting the Department of Health at email@example.com.