2024–25 Budget Recap for Older Australians and Carers

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The Federal budget has brought significant changes that directly impact older Australians and carers across the country. 

With a focus on improving aged care services, reducing wait times for in-home care and consulting with older people, their families and carers on their needs, the government has committed to improving the standard of aged care.

These changes come off the back of the new Aged Care Act, which aims to ensure people who access aged care services funded by the Australian Government are treated with respect and have the quality of life they deserve.

Home Care Packages

An extra 24,100 Home Care Packages in 2024–25 will reduce wait times to an average of 6 months and support more Australians to access in-home aged care than ever before, helping older people to remain independent, in their homes and communities for longer.

Transition Care Programme

The Transition Care Programme, which helps older people recover after a hospital stay by providing short-term care for up to 12 weeks, will receive $190 million over three years to be extended and reviewed.

People living with dementia

For people living with dementia, $30.4 million over 3 years has been pledged to deliver the Specialist Dementia Care Program for clinical support provided by states and territories. 

A further $56.8 million will be spent over 5 years to expand the Acute to Residential Care Transition Service for people living with dementia, and $1.7 million will be used to support the work of the Australian Dementia Network for their work on new dementia diagnostic and treatment options. 

Cheaper medicines for pensioners

The maximum cost of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed drugs for pensioners has been frozen at $7.70 for the next 5 years, and there has been an additional $3.4 billion allocated for new or amended drugs on the PBS which includes treatments for chronic heart failure, kidney disease and breast cancer. 

Cost of living support

Everyone, including older people, will benefit from the $300 energy bill relief. From July, all households will get a $300 credit automatically applied to their electricity bills in quarterly instalments – essentially lowering each quarterly bill by $75.

Pensioners may also benefit from an increase in rent assistance which could increase by up to $18.80 a fortnight for singles and $25 a fortnight for families.

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