The federal government’s Living Longer, Living Better package commenced this year on 1 July 2013. The ten year reform program is targeted at improving control and flexibility of access to aged care services for older Australians. The Government has so far dedicated $3.7 billion over five years towards the program.
Some highlights of the Living Longer, Living Better package include:
- establishment of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency to oversee the accreditation and quality of both residential and home care provider services;
- expanded services to assist older people to remain at home longer, including increasing the number of home care places from 60,000 to 140,000 by 2021–22;
- fairer means-testing arrangements, where people with financial capacity will contribute to the cost of their care, and people of similar means will contribute similar amounts;
- more aged care places for Indigenous Australians and people in rural and remote areas;
- better support for the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, veterans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people;
- extra support for carers, including access to respite and counselling services, and assistance in caring for older people with dementia; and
- creation of the Aged Care Gateway, a centralised service allowing older people to access the information and services they need.
If you provide services to the aged care sector and need help in understanding how the Living Longer, Living Better aged care reforms may affect you, please contact Mark Fitzgerald or Douglas Raftesath.