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Aged care reforms bring changes to home care but will Australians be better off?

On 1 July 2015, the new Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) began. The Commonwealth Government believes these major changes to the way home care services will operate will help elderly people maintain their independence and remain in their homes and communities for longer.

Ian Yates, Chief Executive of the Council on the Ageing (COTA), says that under the proposed changes “the person needing the services and their families will have much more say, choice and control about what kinds of services they get, where they get them, and who they get them from.”

On 16 February 2015, Brianna Roberts, Journalist at SBS World News wrote in an article titled Aged Care reforms bring changes to home care but will Australians be better off? that;

Under the new system each person is allocated a set budget according to their level of need, as determined by an independent assessment team. The money will still go to service providers, but the person receiving the service will need to decide how the budget is spent, and make sure they stay within their budget.

I feel that this is a positive for those people requiring home care as they can tailor the services they need and change the types of services over time. One of the sticking points will be that an independent assessment team will determine the amount of funds available for each person based on their level of need. These ‘independent’ teams may be hamstrung by budget constrained in the future as government pressure to reduce aged care costs increases over time.

The government says the changes will make the system fairer and more streamlined, but like everything in life, these changes are likely to come at a cost.

If you or a loved one need home care, a great resource for finding services if your local area is the Government website titled, My Aged Care.

A Government information sheet on the changes to the home support program for older people, their families and carers is available on the Department of Social Services website.

If you have a family member going into residential care now (or very soon) you should call our office on 1300 659 677 if you would like to:

• Explore ways to reduce your aged care costs
• Obtain financial advice about aged care
• Get help funding aged care fees & charges






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