Government announces 80,000 new home care packages

MORE HELP: 80,000 new packages are on the way. Photo: Shutterstock
MORE HELP: 80,000 new packages are on the way. Photo: Shutterstock

In an attempt to slash the waiting list for home care, the government will release 40,000 new packages this financial year and 40,000 next year.

The allocation of the 80,000 new home care packages, worth $6.5 billion, will mean 750 new packages are released a week.

March quarter data showed there were still 87,162 people waiting for a package at their approved level. More than 60 per cent (55,483) had not been offered any package, however 54,415 applicants had been offered help through the basic-level Commonwealth Home Support Program.

There were still 6380 high needs older people waiting on Level 4 packages.

Of the 40,000 new packages this year, 19,000 will be Level 2, 20,000 Level 3 and 6000 Level 4, while 5000 Level 1 packages will be reassigned to a higher level.

Wait times to access an approved-level package continue to be high, with an estimated three- to six-month wait for Level 1 and nine to 12 months for Levels 2-4.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety addressed the issue package wait times, with the commissioners saying that in the current system, older people often wait too long to get access to care at home.

"Without access to home care services that meet their assessed needs, people face risks of declining function, preventable hospitalisation, carer burnout, premature entry to residential aged care, and even death," the commissioners said.

Assurance reviews of fees and charges will apply to home care providers from November.

This story Government announces 80,000 new home care packages first appeared on The Senior.