Enable people to stay in their homes, says taskforce

Enabling older Australians to remain in their own homes as long as they are able leads a set of principles drafted by the aged care taskforce last month.

Enabling older Australians to remain in their own homes as long as they are able leads a set of principles drafted by the aged care taskforce last month.

The draft principles – which also mention co-contributions from care recipients who can afford it – are intended to act as a base for ongoing discussions within the taskforce and the wider community.

Revised accordingly following those discussions, the principles will also guide the development of the taskforce’s advice to government.

The six principles are:

  • the aged care system should enable and encourage participants to remain in their home for as long as they wish and can do so
  • aged care funding arrangements and their outcomes should be fair, simple, transparent and sustainable
  • government is and will continue to be the major funder of aged care; government funding should be focused on care costs; personal contributions should be focused on accommodation and everyday living costs with a sufficient safety net
  • government and participant contributions should be sufficient to provide quality and appropriate care delivered by a skilled workforce, allowing and encouraging innovation by the health, hospital and aged care systems
  • there should be accountability for funding received from government and participants, how it is spent, and the quality of the services provided
  • the residential sector should have access to sufficient, and new, capital to encourage the development of new accommodation and upgrades to existing accommodation.
Ian Henschke

Ian Henschke – chief advocate of advocacy organisation National Seniors Australia – said the guiding principles reflect what its members have been saying for years.

“Older people tell us they want to stay in their own home and not go into an aged care home, so we’re pleased this is one of their key priorities.”

Mr Henschke added: “We also have long called for a simpler, fairer more transparent system. This is now listed as a key part of the way forward. Most importantly, accountability for all funding received is enshrined, so taxpayers and recipients of care can have confidence in the system they pay for.”

Meeting for the second time on 25 July and chaired by Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells, taskforce members also noted that significant community engagement and data analysis will be required to inform its deliberations and advice to government.

In addition to targeted consultation, the taskforce will conduct a public submission process, which will be available at a later date through the Aged Care Engagement Hub

Made of industry stakeholders, the taskforce was established to review financing of Australia’s aged care system and to oversee the final design of the new in-home care program.

The time-limited taskforce – which received $700,000-worth of budget funding and first met in June – will meet online monthly until October when the interim report will be handed down before the final report is delivered to government in December.

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Tags: aged care taskforce, home care, ian henschke, national seniors australia,

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