Home Care News
How the 2021-22 Federal Budget affects home care
What you’ll get from the Budget
May 22nd, 2021
Caitlin Wright for CareCompare
After the Royal Commission into Aged Care released their scathing report earlier this year, we’ve all been waiting to see what additional funding they would promise in the 2021 Federal Budget. We know that the aged care and home care system is broken and there needs to be a massive overhaul to help fix it.
Will the money from the 2021 Federal Budget make a difference? Let’s take a look.
Extra funding for more home care places
The most promising part of the Federal Budget is the funding for Home Care Packages. The excessive wait list for packages was a key finding from the Royal Commission. The Commissioners recommended clearing the waiting list by December 2021, which is a very ambitious target.
The government is not quite going to hit that goal. The budget promised 40,000 new Home Care Packages in 2021-22 and 40,000 in 2022–23 which will cost $6.5 billion.
This will mean there will be 275,598 packages for older Australians by June 2023. There are currently over 103,000 older people waiting for a package, so it doesn’t quite clear the backlog. They haven’t said whether they’ll be making any other promises to reduce the waiting time but more money is certainly well received.
A new ‘Support at Home’ system
The Aged Care Commissioners highlighted how confusing the current Aged Care model is. The system currently includes 17 Commonwealth Home Support Programme services, 11 forms of respite care, four levels of Home Care Package, and residential aged care. The Commissioners said this has to change.
They recommended an alternative model of home care should be designed and implemented by 1st July 2024. In this budget, the Federal Government has allocated $10.8 million in the next financial year to design and plan this home care program.
Let’s face it, who knows if a new system will be better or worse. But for the next few years, we’ve got to put up with what we’ve got then we’ve got an adjustment period where we’ll be learning about a new system.
In the meantime, CareCompare will help you and your loved ones navigate the current system to make more informed choices.
More funding for additional respite services
This budget has recognised the significant contribution informal carers and family members have in home care. They have committed $798.3 million to support the 1.6 million informal carers.
This will include additional respite services for 8,400 senior Australians each year, which will mean more informal carers will get the break they deserve.
It doesn’t have to just be residential aged care respite services. In home respite care can often be provided by your Home Care Package provider at an hourly rate. When searching on CareCompare, you can easily compare the rate of in-home respite care so you can make an informed decision.
Incident Response Scheme in home care
2021 saw the launch of the Serious Incident Response Scheme in residential aged care. This scheme helps prevent and reduce incidents of abuse and neglect in residential aged care services
The budget has committed $14 million to expand this scheme into home care. They’ve also committed $67.5 million for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and the Severe Behaviour Response Team to support a further 13,000 referrals per year.
More funding for governance and quality
The Federal Government is investing in improving governance and safety across the aged care system. The goal is to provide better choice, higher quality and safe care for all Australians by improving access to quality services and increasing compliance across the sector.
There’s also $272.5 million for enhanced support and face-to-face services. This will help you and your loved one access and navigate the aged care system.
It's encouraging that they’re providing funding for better governance and administration of the system. There’s a current lack of trust over the data so let’s hope this funding helps make the entire system more transparent, safer and easier to navigate.
A new star rating system on My Aged Care website for residential care.
The government has committed $200.1 million to a new star rating system for residential aged care services. This will allow you and your family to get a better idea about the quality of aged care residential services.
However, it won’t be initially available for home care. CareCompare remains the best way to compare Home Care Package providers. We are 100% independent and don’t take commissions from any home care providers. We have made it our mission to bring transparency into the home care industry.