Nov 16, 2023

Government grants throw carers, providers a lifeline

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Aged Care Minister Anika Wells visiting an aged care resident. [Source: Twitter]

The Federal Government is investing more than $160 million in grant funding for dementia and infrastructure grants to support aged care providers operating in rural and remote areas.

The respite grants will support families and informal carers of a person living with dementia through access to dementia–specific respite services in five jurisdictions and assist specialist providers to build and improve services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and First Nations communities in rural and remote settings.

Aimed to support innovative approaches, to enhancing the quality and experience of respite care for people with dementia, carer education and well-being and improving respite care planning, the dementia care respite grants offer providers two streams of activities. 

  • Stream 1: Delivery of combined respite care for both the carer and person with dementia, applying the principles of HammondCare’s Staying at Home program in Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory
  • Stream 2: Delivery of innovative programs or models of respite care and respite care planning for people with dementia and their carers, in Tasmania, Northern Territory, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells acknowledged caring for a loved one with dementia can be incredibly challenging and respite services can make a big difference in enabling an older person living with dementia to stay at home for longer, while also looking after the well-being of their carers and family.

This round of infrastructure grants is focused on supporting existing providers to deliver quality services in small rural towns, remote and very remote communities.

Grants can be used for a range of purposes – from minor equipment purchases to building upgrades, extensions and new builds or purpose-built staff accommodation to support the aged care workforce.

Minister Wells said these grants will help organisations to provide culturally safe care

“I look forward to more opportunities to deliver improved infrastructure for First Nations elders in the second round under this program.”

A second grant funding round to open in the first half of 2024 will broaden eligibility to all regional, rural and remote locations with a continued focus on improving access to quality aged care services for First Nations communities in rural/remote and urban settings.

These grants are the first of two competitive opportunities to open in 2023-24 under the Aged Care Capital Assistance Program.

Applications for the respite grants close Monday, December 18, 2023 at 2pm (ADST). Applications for the infrastructure grants close Monday, January 12, 2024 at 2pm (AEDT).

Information for both grants can be found on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website here

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