New report highlights older Australians need sustainable aged care

Release date: 17 Jun 2019

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) says that the Aged Care Financial Performance Survey released this week by industry analyst StewartBrown reveals the deeply concerning fact that aged care services are continuing to experience significant financial decline.

Patricia Sparrow, CEO of ACSA says, “Over 1 million older Australians rely on these services either through receiving support in their own homes or because they live in a residential care facility. Aged care services are vital to the individuals receiving them, to their families and to the general community.

“The costs of delivering quality care to residents, who have more complex health and support needs, are increasing but funding is standing still.

“45% of residential aged care facilities are operating at a loss. The funding issue is even more evident in rural and remote communities with 67% of residential facilities in these locations operating at a loss.

“Those providing home support, including personal, domestic and meals services, are also under pressure with limited growth funding available and inadequate indexation.  

“While home care package providers have seen their revenue rise, this has been outstripped by increasing expenses.

“Put simply their costs are rising at a greater rate than the income they receive to deliver services. The level of unspent funds is also affecting this outcome while 128,000 people continue to wait to get a much needed package.

“As we live longer as individuals and the population ages, our health and care needs are more complex and ultimately expensive. We need a funding approach that ensures providers can deliver the services that meet these needs.

“While the Aged Care Royal Commission has kick started the kind of big community discussion we need in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities being presented by our ageing nation, there are some practical ideas that can be put into action now to address the severe financial strain aged care service providers are facing.

ACSA has outlined a number of actions that can be taken now to ensure aged care is on a sustainable footing including extending the 9.5% funding injection into residential care, increasing the rural and remote supplement by $10 per day and bringing forward the 30% increase to the homeless supplement.

“The Royal Commission should not be used as an excuse to delay urgent action to make services sustainable and available to those who need and rely on them,” said Ms Sparrow.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ALIYA AHMAD 0428 684 307

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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