Residents of aged care homes who have moved out of their facility during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to benefit from the Australian Government's emergency leave arrangements.
Many families chose to withdraw their elderly relatives from aged care facilties due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
Under changes to legislation first implemented in May, residents won't be penalised if they temporarily move out of their aged care home during a crisis where it is safe and appropriate for them to do so.
The provision was activated for the COVID-19 pandemic and was due to finish at the end of this month but has been extended until June 30, 2021.
Aged Care minister Richard Colbeck said the extension was another measure of support as the pandemic continues to impact communities, particularly in Victoria.
"Many permanent residential aged care residents want to temporarily relocate with family to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19, and the Australian Government supports that choice where appropriate," Mr Colbeck said.
"By introducing this arrangement, we are giving senior Australians the option of staying with family for the duration of the emergency, without the extra worry about using or exhausting their normal social leave entitlements."
Without emergency leave arrangements, permanent residents are entitled to be away from their aged care residence for up to 52 days a year for non-hospital related reasons - known as social leave.
Under normal circumstances, if a resident takes more than 52 days social leave, the Government does not provide its subsidy to the aged care home for that person for the extra days in addition to a resident's normal contribution and the cost of the government subsidy can then be passed on to the resident by a provider.
For aged care residents who do choose to take emergency leave, there is emergency support available through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme which can provide a range of care and services including personal care, nursing services, meals, social support, allied health and therapy services, unaccompanied grocery shopping and transport.