UnitingCare Australia said changes in aged care funding announced by the Federal Government last night will reduce the ability of aged care providers to provide quality care to older Australians, at least in the short term, in an environment where the demand for and cost of aged care is growing.
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Second Draft Discussion Paper regarding the Accommodation Pricing Guidelines, Significant Refurbishment of residential Agedcare Services, Fees and Payments Principles 2013, Subsidy Principles 2013, Aged Care (Maximum Accommodation Payment
Amount) Determination 2013
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Dementia and Veterans’ Supplements in Aged Care Consultation Paper of April 2013. We welcome the recognition of the additional care needs of people with dementia and mental health issues receiving support from residential and home care services. The following comments and questions of clarification are provided on the Consultation Paper.
UnitingCare Australia supports long the awaited aged care legislation tabled in the Federal Parliament today and encourages all parties and Independents to also get behind the bills.
UnitingCare Australia believes that every older Australian should be able to live well, as part of their community, with dignity and independence, and in a place of their choosing.
In the new environment of consumer-led and demand-driven agedcare, older Australians should have access to the appropriate and affordable support and care services that they need, when they need them.
UnitingCare Australia supports the reform of the agedcare system and the move to consumer-driven care.
However, UnitingCare Australia believes older Australians will need assistance in making the transition to the new models of care and that the most vulnerable and those with high care needs will need additional support to ensure they are able to make informed choices.
UnitingCare also believes the agedcare system needs to be adequately funded to be sustainable into the future, and that funding cuts threaten the viability of providers and the quality of care provided to older Australians.
In spite of the ambitious reforms, high quality agedcare remains out of the reach of many older people.
Almost 15,000 older Australians experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and one in twelve older Australians experience significant financial or social disadvantage.
Other older Australians do not have access to quality, flexible, accessible care in the location of their choosing.
People with high care needs, people living in rural and remote areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, can face even greater difficulties accessing appropriate services and supports.
Couples can also face significant challenges in accessing care that meets all their needs and respects their status.
Services are under increasing pressure to meet the demand for specialised care for people with dementia and other complex care needs and carers often struggle to meet the needs of their partner or relative at home. The number of people suffering from dementia is expected to rise to more than 400,000 within five years.
Older people needing care can still face lengthy delays. In 2013-14, only 69 per cent of those needing care entered residential high care within three months of assessment and only 62 per cent entered residential low care within that time.
Only 59 per cent of people commencing Home Care received services within three months of approval.
The aged sector faces a number of workforce challenges including difficulties recruiting qualified staff to residential aged care and the need to develop and maintain a flexible workforce to deliver consumer-driven care.
UnitingCare's Aged Care Network is an advisory network that assists in identifying issues requiring national action. Members of this body are drawn from across the UnitingCare network.
The role of the Aged Care Network is to develop, review and reflect upon the policies and practices of the Uniting Church in its community services ministry with people; and contribute to the advocacy of UnitingCare Australia.
The principal purpose of the proposed legislative process is to provide a measure against which to assess policy and legislative settings that impact on an individuals’ superannuation investments, either during the accumulation or retirement phase.
UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds has called for tomorrow's Federal Budget to begin a national discussion about ageing in Australia.
“Australia has an ageing population. Treasury projects that over the next 40 years, the proportion of the population over 65 years of age will almost double to around 25 per cent,” said Ms Hatfield Dodds.
UnitingCare Australia has hailed today’s successful passage of the Living Longer Living Better package of aged care reform bills through Parliament as an historic moment for older Australians.
Speaking immediately after the bills were passed, UnitingCare Australia National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds, gave credit to all parliamentarians who recognised that Australia’s aged care system was broken and resolved to reform it.
As you are likely aware, UnitingCare agencies manage 12 per cent of all residential aged care places in Australia and are a major provider of community-based services used by older people.
As a major service provider, UnitingCare Australia advocated for and welcomes the ongoing aged care reform process, and actively participates in the consultation opportunities offered by the Australian Government.
As you are aware, UnitingCare agencies provide a significant proportion of community- based services accessed by older people and welcome the ongoing aged care reform process and related consultation opportunities offered by the Australian Government.
UnitingCare Australia thanks the Department of Social Services (the Department) for the opportunity to comment on the second tranche of Exposure Drafts of the Principles necessary to implement the reformed aged care legislation. These comments, in the same manner as those we made regarding the first tranche of the Draft Principles released, reflect UnitingCare’s expertise as a service provider rather than commenting on any legal or technical aspect of the drafts.