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Living Longer Living Better Aged Care Reforms Take Step Forward

The Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms took a major step forward with the passing of five bills in the House of Representatives yesterday.

Minister for Ageing Mark Butler said Government would now seek the support of all sides of politics to pass the legislation in the Senate, following consideration of a Senate Committee Inquiry report.

“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,” Mr Butler said.

Key aspects of the reforms include:
·        Consumer Directed Care packages rolled out nationwide providing people more control over the care they receive.
·        Almost $1 billion in new funding for home care which will see the number of home support packages almost double from 60,000 to 100,000.
·        Tailored care packages to people with dementia receiving home care, and new funding to boost dementia care.
·        Increased funding to residential aged care with 30,000 new places over the next 5 years and $480 million for aged care homes to significantly upgrade their facilities.
·        $1.2 billion to deliver higher wages, better conditions and more rewarding careers for the nation’s 350,000 aged care workers.
·        A single gateway to all aged care services, to make them easier to access and navigate.

“I’d like to thank all those consumer representatives, aged care providers and unions who have demonstrated their commitment to these reforms and worked tirelessly to bring the whole community behind them,” Mr Butler said. “This package reflects what older Australians, their families and carers, and aged care providers have told us they wanted through extensive consultations, along with the valuable input of the Productivity Commission. “I now look forward to deliberation and passage of this legislation in the Senate.”

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Alana Lowes

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