Reform coming to Australian aged care system

Published 04 Jul 2013

Changes to the Aged Care Act 1997 passed last week (June 26) are part of a decade-long plan to reform Australia’s aged care system so that it can meet the needs of an ageing population.

The reforms will see nearly $1 billion in new funding provided for home care, increasing the number of home support packages from 60,000 to 100,000 over five years.

Additionally, residential aged care will receive a funding boost, a single gateway to all aged care services will be established, and more than $1 billion will be spent on higher wages for aged care workers, making their work an even more rewarding career choice.

Minister for Ageing Mark Butler said that the changes to aged care would give Australians “more choice, easier access and better care”.

“We are replacing an aged care system designed a quarter of a century ago and which is now ill-equipped to meet the needs of retiring baby boomers and their parents who are living longer and healthier lives,” said Mr Butler in a statement.

One of the provisions of the reforms will be Consumer Directed Care packages, designed to give people more control over the sort of care they receive.

This just happened to be one of the topics discussed at a recent forum held by the Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW).

‘Let’s talk about dying – a conversation about end of life’ took place at State Parliament House on June 27.

Ahead of the forum, COTA chief executive Ian Day said that the goal would be to have a wide debate about how and where people face their death and how they can be supported in doing so.

“We all know we’re going to die, but most of us refuse to talk about it,” said Mr Day in a statement.

He said that every time COTA held community consultations, people told them that they wanted to talk about the way society approaches death and dying.

“As individuals, we need to spend more time thinking about how we wish to die. If we don’t, we’ll find that we don’t have the options we want when the time comes for us to face death.”

Not talking about things like estate planning can in some cases lead to Inheritance Disputes when a loved one is unhappy with the distribution of assets.

Anyone involved in such a dispute can get expert advice from Contesting Wills lawyers about how they may best proceed to a solution.

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