Federal Government extends emergency leave for aged care residents to 30 June 2021

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Reassurance for both providers and residents who have moved in with family during the pandemic.

Aged Care Minister Senator Richard Colbeck announced on Sunday that the new emergency leave provision for permanent aged care residents will be extended for another nine months – allowing residents to stay with family without losing their place in their home.

As we reported here, the Government implemented the changes in May to avoid residents being penalised if they moved out of their home during COVID and they were due to finish at the end of this month.

Without emergency leave arrangements, permanent residents are only entitled to be away from their aged care home for up to 52 days a year for non-hospital related reasons – known as social leave.

If they take more than this allocation, the Government won’t pay the home for that person for the extra days in addition to a resident’s normal contribution.

The Government also offers up to eight weeks of emergency support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) for residents who do take up Emergency Leave including clinical care and entry-level supports.

However, simple maths tells us that these supports won’t last long if a family chooses to keep Mum or Dad home for months.

What then for elderly residents without access to the care that they require?