126,732 people are waiting for a package that provides their approved level of care – over 5,000 more on the previous quarter, according to the latest Home Care Packages Program Data Report for the September quarter.
Consumers are also waiting longer, with waiting times for approved packages now stretching to three to six months for Level 1 packages and over 12 months for Level 2, 3 and 4.
In total, 91,847 people were in a home care package at 30 June 2018, an increase of 20,424 (28.6%) since 30 June 2017, with 30,150 home care packages released – an average of 2,320 a week.
However, 27.4% of these packages were released as upgrades to people who had previously been offered and accepted a lower level interim package.
57,646 people were still waiting for a higher level home care package – of which 7,798 were still deciding on whether to take up a package and another 19,097 who had not taken up their previous offer of a lower level package.
Minister for Ken Wyatt has noted that 95% of those approved for a package had been offered some kind of support, with 91.6% having access to the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
“CHSP assistance is being expanded and includes transport, domestic help such as house cleaning, personal care, home maintenance and modifications, food preparation and meals on wheels, nursing, social support and respite care,” he said.
But that still leaves around 6,000 people on the list without any support.
The Government had allocated $1.6 billion for home care in the 2018-19 Budget and pledged to increase the number of packages to 151,000 by 2022, including 34,000 more high-level packages.
These latest figures suggest it will fall far short of what’s needed.
You can download the full report HERE.