Govt waives assessment requirements for fire victims

Older people needing short-term respite care in fire-affected areas of Victoria will not need an aged care assessment.

Older Australians needing short-term respite care as a result of the Victorian bushfires will not need to obtain an aged care assessment.

The government will waive the assessment requirement for fire victims to enable them to access residential or in-home care “as quickly as possible”.

“This is about getting the support older Victorians need – whether it is a nursing home or help at home,” said the Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot.

Mrs Elliot has written to aged care facilities in Victoria explaining the immediate changes, while encouraging them to accept emergency residents where possible.

Emergency funding for fire victims has been made available under the National Respite for Carers Program so that Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres can purchase or broker respite for people with short-term needs.

The Department of Health and Ageing has confirmed that evacuations have occurred at three facilities.

A total of 154 residents have been re-located from Bunyip Aged Care, Neerim District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital nad Beechworth Health Sevrice Residential Care Program.

Mrs Elliot praised the response of staff and community members who have been involved in the evacuations.

“I commend the staff and management at these homes for their dedication to the care of their residents,” said Mrs Elliot.

“We will continue to respond to the needs of people affected by this disaster and will work with the aged care sector to ensure all of the elderly people affected receive the care they need.”

For more information, contact the Department of Health and Ageing in Victoria on 03 9665 8601 or 1800 059 059.

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