Extra funding for respite and HACC

The federal government has topped up funding for respite care and Queensland’s HACC services.

Funding for community-based respite services around Australia will continue for another two years, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, announced yesterday. 

A further $293 million over the next two years will be available to community-based respite services through the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP), including day respite centres established as demonstration sites in 2007.

The purpose of the money is to “guarantee the future of [NRCP-funded] respite services … until 30 June 2014,” according to a statement from Minister Butler’s office.

Mr Butler said the announcement would let carers plan their use of respite in advance and give them “certainty for an extra two years”.

“Carers will be able to access respite in a variety of settings including in day centres, host families, overnight community cottages and in their own homes,” he said.

“Carers play an enormously important role in Australian society. This guarantee of funding will help community services continue to meet the needs of carers who dedicate so much to improve the lives of older people, people with a disability and people living with chronic or terminal illness.” 

The Government is also extending funding for Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres to June 2013, providing a further $74 million.

Minister Butler also announced a funding increase for home and community care (HACC) services in the sunshine state yesterday, in a joint statement with the Queensland Minister for Disability Services, Curtis Pitt.

Mr Pitt also announced the $39.8 million boost in person during a visit to Blue Care Ashgrove respite centre with the local member of state parliament, Kate Jones.

“This is great news for older Queenslanders and people with a disability,” Mr Pitt said.

“It means extra resources for hundreds of organisations delivering vital home and community care services throughout Queensland.

“From Cairns to Coolangatta, these organisations provide care and services which make a real difference to people’s quality of life, and we’re pleased to be providing this extra support.”

Ms Jones said HACC services like domestic assistance, personal care, social support, home modifications, transport, and respite care were important in supporting the independence of older people.

“They’re the sorts of things that can be the difference between someone remaining in their own community among family and friends or living in a nursing home,” she said.

“I’ve seen first-hand the positive difference organisations like Blue Care Ashgrove make to individuals and to their families.

“And they can count on the Bligh Government to keep delivering better services and more care in communities throughout Queensland.”

Tags: government-funding, hacc, mark-butler, qld, respite, respite-care,

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