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New data shows urgent need for increased investment in older Australians and aged care

Release date: 27 Oct 2020

StewartBrown’s Aged Care Financial Performance Survey released today has reinforced evidence at the Royal Commission of the ongoing shortfall in funding to meet the everyday living expenses of people living in residential aged care and deal with the impacts of the global pandemic.

Home care package data recently released also revealed that there are still more than 100,000 older people waiting to be supported to live well in their own homes - which is where the majority of people want to be.

Aged and Community Services Australia CEO Patricia Sparrow said both reports delivered a wake up call that greater investment is needed to ensure older Australians get the services they need when they need them. While Government has committed to more home care packages, an additional 30,000 in the past budget, and provided some additional funding to support COVID related costs, this still does not bridge the gap.

“The performance survey reveals we have an increasing number of facilities now at 64% - rising to a massive 78% in rural and remote areas - operating at a loss, with increasing costs from COVID and no respite in sight,” she said.

“This is not a few inefficient providers running into trouble, this is a systemic issue of underfunding and must be urgently addressed.

“Last week the Royal Commission heard recommendations from Counsel Assisting that put the financial pressures beyond doubt and highlighted the impacts of an unacceptable wait for home care.

“Urgent action is needed on both fronts. Without action the gap between the cost of quality care and funding will grow.

“The Royal Commission final report, due early next year, provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for big picture reform for the sector, rather than ongoing band-aid solutions, but actions should begin right now.

“For many people, the COVID-19 situation has led to job losses or changes and maybe considering new career options. The aged care workforce needs to triple by 2050 and we need even more workers immediately to help the sector care for older Australians.

“Employing more people, contributing to the country’s economic recovery and supporting older Australians has the potential to be a truly wonderful combination,” she said.

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0455 111 593

 

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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