Demand strong for aged home care packages

Demand strong for aged home care packages


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The latest data shows 77,918 older Australians got home care packages in 2017, up from 9261 in 2016.

The latest data shows 77,918 older Australians got home care packages in 2017, up from 9261 in 2016.

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More older Australians are waiting for funding to allow them to stay in their own homes, with new data showing 108,000 are on the waiting list. The number of...

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More older Australians are waiting for funding to allow them to stay in their own homes, with new data showing 108,000 are on the waiting list.

The number of older people with home care packages jumped 13.5 per cent on the previous year, but critics say the demand is rising faster than funding.

The latest data shows 77,918 older Australians received home care packages in 2017, a increase of 9261 on the previous year.

"More older Australians than ever before are being supported to stay in their own home for longer," Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said on Friday.

"In this year's budget we committed to a record $5 billion aged care boost, including $1.6 billion for additional high-level home care packages."

The total number of home care packages will rise from about 87,500 in 2018 to 151,000 by 2022.

But Labor frontbencher Julie Collins said 108,000 older Australians are still waiting for an appropriate level of home care and demand is growing.

"With the waiting list growing by almost 4000 older Australians in just three months, the 3500 new home care packages a year committed in the budget won't come close to keeping pace with demand," Ms Collins said.

The data released on Friday is for the January to March 2018 quarter, and Ms Collins said the government must now release the June quarterly data so voters could understand the scale of the problem.

Council on the Ageing boss Ian Yates said the increased number of packages is welcome, but too many are missing out.

"Funding for even more packages is still urgently required for those Australians who are desperately waiting for home care," Mr Yates said.

He said there had been an "enormous" shift towards home care packages, with Australians preferring to stay in their homes as they age, rather than going into residential care.

Australian Associated Press

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