The Rudd Government has reiterated its commitment to an overhaul of community care and the provision of more short-term residential aged care options for older Australians.
Speaking at the ageing population summit in Melbourne, The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot conceded that consumers often find the current system difficult to navigate.
“We recognise that although the community care services are meeting the needs of many people, the system is unnecessarily complex and somewhat fragmented – making it hard for many people to find the services they need,” she said.
The minister said the government’s new initiatives will be aimed at improving accessibility.
“While continuing to fund expansion in community care, we will review and improve the range of community care programs, and particularly the administrative arrangements that apply across programs,” she said.
“The result will be a simpler, fairer, more consumer focused system that dovetails with the broader aged care system.”
At the same time, Mrs Elliot acknowledged that residential care clients are older and frailer than in the past.
She indicated that the Government will continue to push for more sub-acute and short-term residential options for older Australians.
“There will be [a] need for intensive medical care that lies between acute and long-term care as well as intermittent residential care,” said Mrs Elliot.
The Minister announced that 25 of the 228 Commonwealth-funded transition care places announced in late June are now operational in Victoria, South Australia and the ACT.