Senior Australians left waiting for home care

Australia

More than 6100 additional home care packages were released this month, but new figures show they will barely make a dent in the waiting list.

New figures released this week show there were 874 fewer older Australians waiting for a package at their approved level between January and March this year compared with the previous quarter.

An average of 3050 packages a week were released during the March quarter.

However, seniors approved for medium to high level care were waiting more than 12 months for a home care package.

The Federal Government this month released an extra 6105 packages.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said it was another step towards reducing wait times and getting more senior Australians essential care sooner.

Labor MP Julie Collins says while Australians are understandably concerned and focused on the risks of COVID-19 to older people, ‘we must not forget the failings of our country’s broken aged care system’.
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Labor MP Julie Collins says while Australians are understandably concerned and focused on the risks of COVID-19 to older people, ‘we must not forget the failings of our country’s broken aged care system’. Credit: Supplied

But Opposition aged care spokeswoman Julie Collins said the shocking figures followed the Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report that called the long waiting times older Australians faced for home care “neglect”.

“With COVID-19 likely to result in even more older Australians choosing to receive aged care at home, the Morrison Government must do more,” she said.

“The Government’s announcement of just 6000 more home care packages earlier this month will not put a dent in this lengthy waiting list.”

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