Australian Federal Budget 2018-19 and Aged-Care Funding Changes

The 2018 Budget announcement will see $1.6 billion dollars allocated to aged care and supporting older Australians at home.

Martin Warner, Co-Founder of Home Instead Senior Care Australia says, “The budget paper directly reflects the growing demand for in-home care and support services to meet the needs of our ageing population. Our priority remains to provide a high quality service that not only enhances the lives of older Australians and their families, but ultimately connects, engages and values seniors as meaningful members of our society.”

“We are encouraged by the announcement of 14,000 extra Home Care Packages over the next 4 years, however the funding allocation barely scratches the surface of addressing the current or future care needs of our ageing population. The waiting list for seniors to be assessed and to receive services remains a challenge making the new framework for streamlined, faster consumer assessments a welcome priority. Importantly we would like to have seen action on unspent funds being redirected into more packages to reduce the waitlist now.”

Key facts about aged-care funding changes in the Budget:

  • The 2018 budget has the biggest focus on aged care in six years, with the government spending on training, an increase in in-home care and streamlined services.
  • Aged-care sector gets $1.6 billion to assist older Australians with services in their own homes. This is on top of an additional 6,000 high-level places announced in December’s mid-year budget update.
  • The budget is provided for over four years to create 14,000 home care places for people who wish to stay in their homes rather than nursing homes.
  • The funding boost means close to 74,000 high level home care places will be available by 2021-2022. This is part of a number of changes outlined in the budget designed to lift economic conditions for seniors and encourage them to remain engaged in the workforce.
  • There will also be $2,000 ‘skills and training’ grants designed to fund the upskilling of mature aged workers already employed but deemed at risk.
  • There are currently 56,850 people on the waiting list for a high-level package and 25% of them aren’t receiving any interim care. Overall there are 105,000 people waiting for a package.
  • The budget has also funded 13,500 residential aged care places.
  • Treasurer Scott Morrison also announced $146 million to improve access to aged-care services in rural and regional areas.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding aged care funding changes from the budget and what it might mean for you, please feel free to contact our care team for advice on 1300 008 018, or visit www.budget.gov.au for more information.