The conversations of life

Funding is key to a better aged care system for all

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This week Fairfax Media published a series of devastating stories in its Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers.

While clearly researched, the stories do fail to touch on what many of us who work in the aged care sector already know – that if we want more nurses, higher staff ratios, better food and more for our loved ones, the sector needs more funding.

Just recently, the Aged Care Legislated Review led by David Tune released its long-awaited report which made 38 recommendations for the future of aged care.

He recommended abolishing the annual and lifetime caps – currently $26,566.54 and $63,759.75 respectively – on the means-tested care fees that aged care residents pay.

Mr Tune also wants the full value of the owner’s home included in the means test when there is no one else living in the home.

Time to plan for the long-term

But the Government quickly announced it would not support them.

None of us want to think about getting older, but the fact is eventually most of us will need some form of aged care or home support. And with a rapidly ageing population, our care needs are only going to increase.

If we want a better aged care system in the future, we will have to pay for it – both us the customers and the Government.

The Government currently has legislation sitting before Parliament that is aimed at providing long-term funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by increasing the Medicare levy. Why not do the same for aged care?

Jill Donaldson

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.


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