Macedon Ranges residents aged 65 or over will now have more choice when it comes to in-home support, with two providers to increase their service delivery within the shire.
Benetas and Intereach have been awarded contracts by the Australian Government to transition into delivering aged care services currently provided by Council.
This announcement gives Council and clients more certainty to progress the transition of services over the coming months, with Council engaging a dedicated staff member to support clients through this period and be a key conduit of information between clients, Council, the community and providers.
Council’s CEO, Bernie O’Sullivan, said Council’s priority was to ensure existing clients and Council staff were fully supported throughout the transition, including assisting clients to make an informed decision on a preferred provider.
“Transferring these services is a difficult, yet necessary decision for Council – it will allow us to refocus our investment to support a broader cohort of older residents in the shire,” he said.
“The two new providers have both already had a presence locally and Council will be there every step of the way to ensure a seamless transition for our clients, their families and staff.”
Mayor Annette Death said Council had a series of ongoing commitments towards supporting older community members, which would continue beyond the delivery of in-home services.
“The 2021 Census highlighted that we have close to 10,000 residents over the age of 65 in our shire – almost a fifth of our population,” she said.
“We want to ensure that we continue to support this cohort as best as we can, to reinforce the Macedon Ranges as a great place to live and support meaningful contributions in our community.”
Last year, Council resolved it was no longer best placed to deliver aged care services and would finish its role via the Commonwealth Home Support program at 30 June this year, following lengthy consideration and significant sector reforms by the Australian Government over the past decade.
From 1 July next year, the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Home Support Programme, Home Care Packages Program and Short Term Restorative Care Programme will merge together under the new Commonwealth-managed Support at Home Program.
Under the new model, providers will offer a much broader suite of services than what Council currently provides and is resourced for across in-home, personal, nursing, and allied health services.