$100m-plus for rural and remote aged care

The funding will go towards upgrading and expanding aged care homes and improving home care service delivery.

Multi-millions of dollars are to be funnelled into rural and remote communities across Australia to improve access to aged care services, the government announced Wednesday.

The $135 million investment – made through Round 1 of the Aged Care Capital Assistance Program – will deliver 76 infrastructure projects outside of metropolitan areas.

Source: Department of Health and Aged Care

More than $60 million will be spent across 30 locations to support aged care providers to upgrade and expand their aged care homes, increase the number of beds, and improve home care service delivery to better meet the needs of First Nations communities in remote and very remote locations.

A further $49 million will support 27 providers to plug shortages in staff accommodation to attract and retain more workers so as to ensure 24/7 registered nurse requirements are met, care minutes are increased and reliance on agency staff is reduced.

Meanwhile, $22 million of funding will go towards supporting eight specialised services to improve access to aged care for older people at risk of homelessness.

And $3 million will be spent to enable 11 National Aboriginal and Torres Islander Flexible Aged Care Program providers to deliver more culturally appropriate care to First Nations communities.

Anika Wells

“These capital grants ensure appropriate supports are in place for aged care providers to maintain the viability and sustainability of their operations, especially in areas of need,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells. The grants have been allocated so that older people “have the support they deserve regardless of where they live,” she added.

Malarndirri McCarthy

Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs Malarndirri McCarthy said the funding will enable First Nations people to remain close to their families. “Elders play such an important role in our communities and it’s essential they are provided the best care and support.”

A further round of funding – due to open in the second half of 2024 – will broaden eligibility to all regional, rural and remote locations with the continued aim of improving access to aged care services for First Nations communities nationwide, including those in urban settings.

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Tags: Aged Care Capital Assistance Program, Anika Wells, malarndirri mccarthy,

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