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What the Aged Care Task Force means for Retirement Village Operators?

The retirement living sector, especially those who have residents receiving a Home Care Package, should read the Final Report of the Aged Care Taskforce closely.

There are 23 recommendations but the ones must pertinent to the retirement living sector are: 

  • Recommendation 1: Underpin the Support at Home Program with inclusion and exclusion principles and clearly defined service lists. 
  • Recommendation 3: It is appropriate older people make a fair co-contribution to the cost of their aged care based on their means. 
  • Recommendation 7: Establish a fee-for-service model for Support at Home that ensures participants only pay a co-contribution for services received.  
  • Recommendation 8: Introduce Support at Home participant co-contributions that vary based on the type of service accessed. 

“The Taskforce notes the Support at Home Program needs much clearer specifications than current programs about what it will and will not fund. The lack of clarity and consistency in inclusions and exclusions in current home care programs has led to confusion between providers and participants. This affects participants’ ability to make informed choices about their care, diminishes value for money in the programs, and could also mean that funds are not used according to the policy intent of home care,” it reads. 

In a nutshell, it wants to make the consumer pay for non-care components such as gardening, washing the dishes, and general cleaning.  

This is positive news for the sector. The Retirement Living Council (RLC) has released a new document titled “Shared Care”, the brainchild of Ryman Healthcare Australia CEO Cam Holland (pictured), which proposes part of a resident’s Home Care Package funding can be shared with the rest of the village to create efficiencies. An example would be part of the funds would contribute to a nurse on-site which would benefit the whole village as well as a care package recipient. 

Cam has long advocated for the ability to increase contributions from residents to lessen the burden on the taxpayer.

While direct aged care services should always be publicly funded, the accommodation and daily service costs aged care residents currently contribute to on top of that [in the form of refundable accommodation deposits and daily accommodation payments and basic daily fees] need to be deregulated.”

“Consumers, especially cashed-up Baby Boomers who are entering aged care in their droves, want the kind of accommodation and services they’ve enjoyed their entire lives, aged care operators want to provide these, but aren’t allowed to under the current model.

“Through a co-contribution model, government funding would cover care costs, while residents with the means to would contribute towards accommodation and daily hotel services that suit their individual tastes and requirements. Appropriate safety nets for those without means are already part of the current legislative environment and should be protected and strengthened.”

Cameron Holland, CEO, Ryman Healthcare Australia

Originally published by The Weekly Source.

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