Residential providers in rural, regional and remote areas have picked up more than a third of places in the 2018–19 Aged Care Approvals Round, the government has announced.
Vulnerable seniors will have priority access to almost a quarter of the new places, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said today.
The government called for a focus on meeting the needs of seniors living in rural, regional and remote areas in applications for the 2018-19 ACAR, which opened on 2 July and closed on 10 August last year (read more here).
The ACAR includes 13,500 new residential aged care places worth $907 million a year and $60 million in capital works funds investment to finance the construction and extensions of aged care homes.
Over 5,000 places were allocated to regional areas, which is almost double the previous round.
Allocating these new places to regional areas is part of the government’s strategy to combat the challenges faced by these communities, Mr Wyatt said.
“I am passionate about ensuring all Australians have access to quality aged care services regardless of where they live.
“Every one of these new places will mean senior Australians can age with more confidence, knowing they have future care options in locations as close as possible to their families and communities, whether in the city of the country,” he said.
Mr Wyatt said seniors who are financially or socially challenged, from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or LGBTI communities, or veterans, are among those who will have priority access to more than 23 per cent of the new places.
The state breakdown of metropolitan places compared to non-metropolitan places is:
The government announced that the $60 million capital works investment would provide 28 grants to establish, extend and refurbish new and existing homes in priority areas of rural and regional Australia.
Projects funded include:
- More than $4.7 million to be invested in Shepparton, Victoria, to build a 20-bed residential aged care facility for disadvantaged older Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- More than $5.9 million to extend and upgrade two facilities in Queensland to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander seniors in need of dedicated, culturally appropriate aged care.
- $4 million in Cooma, New South Wales, for new dementia support facilities and for rural and remote residents.
- $3 million in Nuriootpa, South Australia, to expand the existing facility including dedicated respite rooms and refurbishment of the Memory Support Unit.
- $3 million in Swansea, Tasmania, to expand and upgrade facilities, in conjunction with the local Dorset Council.
- In Roebourne, WA, there will be a $4.6 million expansion of aged care services, offering specialised, culturally comfortable care for local Elders.
The 2018–19 ACAR outcomes are available here.
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