Over 5,000 more senior Australians will benefit from specialised care programs to help them continue living independent, healthy lives in their own homes, after a record allocation of 775 new Short-Term Restorative Care places by the Liberal National Government.
The $58 million annual funding boost means the number of senior Australians receiving restorative care each year will almost triple – from 3,088 to 8,125 – with expanded programs increasing care places from 475 to 1,250.
“This is a life-changing program, giving senior Australians more choices for longer, better and happier lives,” said Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM.
“Older people have things that happen to them which can rob them of their confidence and this program is a proven way of getting them back on their feet.
“People want and deserve flexible services when they need them, to restore and maintain their independence for as long as possible.
“Short-term restorative care boosts health, gets people up and about and improves their wellbeing and outlook on life.
“Importantly, senior Australians are in the driver’s seat, with carefully tailored care plans designed with and approved by them.
“This personal care can be delivered in their own home, in an aged care home or in a combination of both and aims to delay their admission into residential or home aged care.”
Restorative care programs are delivered over a period of up to eight weeks, with clear goals agreed with each individual.
Re-ablement can include strengthening exercises, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, along with home and furniture modifications, to make life easier and better.
“This short-term intervention can make a lasting difference to self-sufficiency and happiness and the feedback from participants has been overwhelming,” said Minister Wyatt.
“While this new allocation will boost restorative care in our major cities, there is also a strong emphasis on increasing the number of places across regional, rural and remote centres.
“I am proud that our Government pioneered funding for this restorative care program in 2015 and that, thanks to our strong economic management we are right on track to deliver our commitment to fund 2,000 places by 2021.”
The restorative care expansion comes on top of $100 million in growth funding for the Commonwealth Home Support Program and a $15 million increase in the home modification scheme, to support independent seniors.
In total, 350 of the new short-term restorative care places will be allocated by July 2019, with another 425 places to be allocated in 2019-20.
The 775 new short-term restorative care places are part of Australia’s biggest ever Aged Care Approvals Round which includes 13,500 residential aged care places, with allocations and $60 million in capital grants to be announced soon.
“This record Aged Care Approvals Round is a major component of the Morrison Government’s More Choices for a Longer Life Budget package, to deliver better ageing, better access to care and better quality of care,” said Minister Wyatt.
Information about the 2018−19 ACAR short-term restorative care outcomes, including details of the successful approved providers, is available at www.agedcare.health.gov.au/2018-19acar.