Aged care initiatives over the next four years aim to provide additional support and services to promote greater independence, mobility and autonomy, reducing or delaying the need for more complex aged care support services. Initiatives will help older Australians and their families to engage with and understand the aged care system, have a greater say in the care they receive, and have increased confidence in the quality of their care and services.
This initiative aligns to department outcomes 2 & 6 in the Health Portfolio Budget Statements
- Facilitate the delivery quality aged care services that meet the varying needs of older Australians through three levels of care, as well as a range of flexible aged care options:
- Entry-level aged care assistance at home
- Assistance for more complex needs at home
- Residential aged care for those who can no longer live independently at home.
- Continue to design sound policy and deliver a range of services to support independence and wellness for older Australians, including providing aged care information and assessment of needs through My Aged Care.
- Ensure policy development and service delivery meets the needs of vulnerable and hard-to-reach older Australians, including people living with dementia.
- Maintain policy and funding settings and support necessary reforms to ensure residential aged care can meet current and future needs, from metropolitan to rural and remote Australia.
- Implement a cross-portfolio package of measures designed to support Australians to plan ahead for longer lives.
- Improve aged care regulation to give greater confidence to older Australians about the quality of care being delivered by aged care providers.
- Support reform of Australia’s Aged Care Workforce to ensure it is well placed to meet current and future needs.
- The demand for home care packages continues to grow.
- The number of people aged over 65 is predicted to increase from 3.8 million to 5.2 million by 2027.
- On average, Australians are living 30 years longer than we did a hundred years ago.
- Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 536,164 by 2025.
Our work to achieve this initiative
- Improving the My Aged Care website, providing greater transparency of quality in aged care, simplifying forms, and implementing a new framework for streamlined and faster assessments for all aged care services.
- Developing options to reform residential care funding models.
- Improving the overall health and wellbeing, including the impact of chronic disease for Australians aged 65 years and over, through initiatives to help people make better health choices, improve mental health services and promote physical activity for older Australians.
- Support older Australians to stay living independently in their own homes for longer, whilst still receiving the support and services they need to remain active and engaged.
- Improving care for people living with dementia, with an emphasis on using new technologies.
- Ensuring access to quality aged care services for people in regional, rural and remote locations and culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Implementing new models of palliative care in aged care facilities and end-of-life coordination.
- Strengthening quality regulation through implementing new consumer-focused quality standards, developing a single Charter of Rights for consumers, and by better profiling risks to consumers to enable regulatory processes to respond quickly to care failures by aged care providers.
- Establishing a new Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019, enhancing coordination and access to information, and improving the ability to identify and respond to failures in delivery of quality aged care.
- Implementing measures to maximise opportunities to enjoy the benefits of increased longevity and encourage earlier planning for longer lives, including online interactive checks for 45 and 65 year olds.
- Providing support to the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce to deliver an industry-led report to the Minister for Aged Care.
Our role and that of our partners
- We will continue to strengthen relationships with our stakeholders and hospitals to improve services.
- We will develop capability to strengthen regulatory practices relating to residential aged care facility monitoring.
- We will continue to work with state and territory governments to improve quality and safety in aged care.
- We continue to work closely with other government departments, such as the Department of Human Services which undertakes income testing and administers payments, and the Department of Social Services, which provides assistance, support and services for people with a disability and their carers.
- We will continue to work with the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency to deliver current regulatory obligations as well as planning for a smooth transition to the new Quality and Safety Commission.
Management of identified risks
The My Aged Care contact centre and website does not provide the necessary support or guidance to customers in a timely manner, leaving people feeling lost and stranded in the aged care system.
The quality of the aged care facilities are not improved, exposing the vulnerable to sub-standard care.
The newly designed and offered home care packages do not meet the needs of the ageing population and are not tailored to required services.
We will provide the ageing population with high quality and safe options on how to manage their health and what services to access to support their lifestyle.
The Government is improving aged care quality regulation and establishing the independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This Commission will enable flexible and responsive regulatory powers, providing assurance to residents of aged care facilities.
The Government is investing in new high level home care packages, which will be complemented by new residential care places and restorative places.
My Aged Care
Since arriving from France in 1951, Gabrielle Desdoigts has had a full and fruitful life. Now needing more assistance, she has received a My Aged Care assessment and made the decision to move into residential aged care. There are a number of services in the city where she lives, but Gabrielle and her family don’t know where to start in choosing between them. They are worried about making such a big move without knowing what kinds of services are provided or whether they cater for people from diverse backgrounds.
Improved information on the Australian Government’s My Aged Care website will allow Gabrielle and her family to search local services and compare the key features offered. This will give Gabrielle and her family the information on available services, costs and quality to make an informed decision about the best new home for her.