Living Longer, Living Better – The Australian Government Aged Care Package

The Living Longer, Living Better aged care package was announced on April the 20th 2012. It is a 10 year plan that aims to reshape aged care, providing over 3.7 billion over 5 years to build a better, fairer and more nationally consistent aged care system. What this means for retirees is that many of the acronyms we are used will change, and that aged care services will be provided in a more manageable, easier to access way. Some services will be consolidated in an attempt to make services less confusing and easier to access.

Here is a brief look at some of the changes that the government will be making over the next 10 years under the Living Longer, Living Better aged care package. This is a brief, point-form summary of the Government’s materials.

Staying at Home

– There will be new home care packages available

– Testing for home care packages will change

– There will be greater choice for the consumer

– The home support program will be integrated

– Assessment, client care coordination, case management and counselling and support will be reviewed.

– Meal services will be reviewed

Carers

– Respite access will be expanded

– Carer counseling fusing will be increased -Care cup port centres will be established

– Funding for respite care will be streamlined

Residential Care

– More facilities will be built

– Regional services will be supported

– Means testing will be changed

– An Aged Care Financing authority will be established

– A new homeless supplement will be implemented form the 1st of Oct 2013 – increased consumer protection

Work Force

– Allowing providers, who have passed on at least 1% wage supplementation in each year they are receiving the Workforce Supplement, to use any excess Workforce Supplement funding to provide further wage increases, or to support the additional workforce commitments of theAddressing Workforce Pressures initiative, including contributing toward the costs to the employer of implementing the Workforce Supplement

– Allowing providers to opt in and out of the Workforce Supplement including some Multi Purpose Services, who do not employ staff under state or territory government awards, as eligible programs

– Clarifying the eligibility of aged care workers employed by providers of brokered services

Building for the future

– Aiming to build a seamless integrated aged care system

– The Aged Care Financing Authroty aims to provide independent advice on financial matters

– Building an Aged care services gateway that has national contact centres and websites, client records, assessment capabilities and linking services

– Improve the transparency of aged care services

Better health care connections and diversity recognition

– Improve aged care for Aborginals and torres strait islanders

– Support veterans with mental health issues

– Ensure there are no exclusions due to sexual diversity

– Improved homeless assistance and services

– Improving carers slkills in dealing with diversity

– Improve access to complex care, including palliative care Multidisciplinary care

Dementia

– A new Dementia and Cognition Supplement in Home Care packages and a Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement in residential care

– Improved hospital and primary care through the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service

– Increased focus on people with younger onset dementia

– Reducing the time between symptoms and diagnosis.

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