Aged Care Reforms Quarterly Update

Aged Care Reforms Quarterly Update

In 2021, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety provided Australia with a unique opportunity — to make positive, lasting changes to aged care that deliver safety, dignity and respect for older people.

The Australian Government is making changes to the aged care system. These changes are in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

These changes – known as the aged care reforms – will improve aged care in Australia. What we’ve delivered so far We have made – and will continue to make – positive changes to restore dignity to older people in Australia.

Here are just some of the changes we’ve made:

• capped Home Care Package admin fees

• supported a meaningful pay rise for aged care workers

• legislated 24/7 nurses in aged care homes from July 2023

• legislated more care minutes in aged care homes from October 2023

• improved transparency and accountability requirements of aged care providers

• introduced the Star Ratings system as a comparison rating for all residential aged care services

• established the Office of the Interim InspectorGeneral for Aged Care, and appointed Mr Ian Yates AM as the Interim InspectorGeneral from January 2023. 

Creating a System of Choice and Control

Whether it’s for you or someone you care for, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your health and well-being needs for the future.

We are reforming the current aged care system – into one that allows for more choice and control – so you get the care and support you need where and when you need it. We know that people want to stay in their homes for longer as they age.

Reforms to in-home aged care will ensure the right level of support for older people at home when they need it. That means having the choice to stay mobile and at home for as long as you want, receiving the care that you need.

As of 31 March 2023, the current wait for people with a high priority is less than one month. Additionally, the number of people waiting to receive a Home Care Package (HCP) continues to decrease, with a drop of 47% in the 12 months to 31 March 2023.

Aged Care Reforms

The traditional image of aged care is often associated with residential care. While it’s true that the majority of expenditure is in the residential care sector, in fact, the majority of people remain independent and stay in their homes – connected to family and community – for the duration of their lives.

For some, home support and home care packages provide the support they need to maintain independent living. Only a small proportion of older people are accessing residential care at any point in time.

Australia’s Aged Care System

The aged care system offers a continuum of care under three main types of service:

• Commonwealth Home Support Programme

• Home care packages

• Residential care

There are also several types of flexible care available to older people (and their carers) that extend across the spectrum from home support to residential aged care. During 2021–22 there were 1.5 million recipients of aged care.

Each person’s life experience is unique and therefore there is no ‘typical’ aged care recipient. The aged care system is designed to be flexible and responsive to varying needs, including physical and mental health and wellbeing, social support and inclusion.

Who Pays for Aged Care?

The Australian Government is the major funder of aged care, with aged care recipients contributing to the cost of their care where they are able to do so. Australian Government expenditure for aged care throughout 2021– 22 totalled $24.8 billion, an increase of 4.9 per cent from the previous year. 

How to Access Aged Care Information

We’ve heard that people in Australia want accessing aged care to be easier. Older people want it to be easier to understand, easier to get support and easier to find information and make decisions about aged care.

The Australian Government is committed to reforming aged care and providing easy, consistent and equal access to aged care information, support and care.

We want to ensure that older people have the support they need when making important decisions about their aged care journey.

My Aged Care’s Help Explorer

If you’re not sure what help you need or where to start, My Aged Care’s help explorer lets you see how other people dealt with similar situations, and the services they found helpful.

Read the stories that best match your current situation, or the service you want to learn more about by visiting: myagedcare.gov.au/helpexplorer

Before you can access services, you need to apply for an assessment to check if you’re eligible. During your assessment, you and your assessor will discuss your needs and what support might be right for you.

To find out how to apply for an assessment. visit: myagedcare.gov.au/assessment/how-applyassessment

Have Your Say About Aged Care Reforms

We are consulting with older people, their families, and carers as we develop, trial and deliver these changes to make sure our aged care system meets their needs.

Thousands of people have been involved in shaping the reforms so far – through surveys, webinars, online workshops, consultation papers and in-person events.

There are plenty of opportunities for you to have your say about the changes to aged care:

• Register to be kept up to date on consultation opportunities and outcomes or sign up to receive our monthly newsletter for older people in Australia – EngAged.

Visit the Aged Care Engagement Hub: agedcareengagement.health.gov.au/get-involve

• Call 1800 318 209 to find out more about the reforms and progress, open consultations and for assistance in completing consultation activities.

• Talk with us in person at one of the many upcoming events around Australia that we’re attending, including:

• Care Expo – Melbourne, VIC, 11–12 August 2023

• Care and Ageing Well Expo – Perth, WA 12–13 August 2023

• COTA Seniors Expo – Alice Springs, NT 22 August 2023

• Care Expo – Brisbane, QLD, 1–2 September 2023 ACG

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In Need of Support?

Carer Gateway is an Australian Government program providing free services and support for carers. Call Carer Gateway for support and access to services, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time.

Assistance with accessing emergency respite is available any time, 24/7.

1800 422 737 

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