Aged care – Securing the future of aged care for Australians – assistive technology in community care

This will increase the availability of technology that helps frail older people to remain safely in their own homes for as long as possible.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

PDF printable version of Aged care – Securing the future of aged care for Australians – assistive technology in community care (PDF 771 KB)

Why is this important?

  • This initiative is intended to increase the availability and use of ‘assistive technology’, which refers to devices – such as mattress sensor pads to activate lights at night, remote monitoring of vital signs, or and systems to help people remember their medication. These can all improve the independence of frail older people and help them to remain safely in their own homes for as long as possible.
  • The measure has two components. Firstly, it establishes an industry body to promote the use of assistive technology by community care providers, and to use the buying power of the large number of community care services to negotiate discounts on assistive technology.
  • Secondly, starting in 2008-09, a grants program will be established, totalling approximately $15.3 million over three years to fund innovation in assistive technology.

Who will benefit?

  • The initiative will provide benefits to community care clients through the use of assistive technology to keep them safe and well in their own homes.
  • Up to 4,000 community care service providers across Australia will also benefit, through access to more cost-effective assistive technologies to support their clients, and also through the potential to reduce the overall demands on their workforce.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government has committed new funding of $21.4 million over four years to support this initiative.

What have we done in the past?

  • Over the next four years, an extra 15,000 frail older people will receive the care they need to maintain their quality of life, without the need to enter a residential care home.
  • This initiative enhances existing community care programs by making assistive technology solutions available to service providers and their clients, at a reasonable price.
  • The Australian Government announced in the 2004-05 Budget that it would provide an additional $2.2 billion over five years for aged care. Since then the Government has announced the provision of a further $1.6 billion over five years as part of the new aged care funding package Securing the Future of Aged Care for Australians.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing measure.

In this section