The new Labor Government is taking time to address the concerns of the sector instead of rushing into failure.
The extra time will be used to work with older Australians, their families and carers, workers, advocates and providers to ensure a better in-home aged care system is delivered.
Regional councils across Victoria have been exiting aged home support services because of the previous government’s funding changes, leaving some older Australians with limited or no support.
Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is encouraging local councils to use the extra time to develop plans for viable in-home care services under the new program, whilst continuing to offer their in-home care services in the meantime.
“I want to thank our councils for their good faith in raising ongoing issues around in-home care services with me,” Chesters said.
“I strongly encourage local Government to continue to offer this important service.
“My office receives regular calls from locals who are struggling to access home support services or are on long wait lists.
“Whilst Bendigo is one of the larger regional centres in Victoria there are still insufficient home support services to meet demand, particularly for residents further out of town.
"It's vital at our local councils continue to offer the important service,” Chesters said.
The City of Greater Bendigo Council (CoGB) and Mount Alexander Shire Council (MASC) deliver Commonwealth Home Support Programme services (CHSP) to around 2000 residents in Bendigo Electorate and employ around 120 staff members between them.
The Labor Government will also:
- Add additional 40,000 Home Care Packages this financial year.
- Increase funding by $25 million and expand access to goods, equipment and assistive technology to support older Australians to remain independent in their homes and reduce out of pocket expenditure.
“Most people want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, so it’s imperative that reforms to in-home aged care bring genuine improvements for older Australians in the long and short-term,” Chesters said.
The Albanese Labor Government has listened to older Australians and the aged care sector and is getting reforms to the in-home care program back on track.