May 01, 2020

Government promises $205m for aged care resident safety

Residential aged care providers will benefit from an additional COVID-19 specific support package totalling $205 million under targeted measures announced today by the Morrison Government.

It takes the total COVID-19 specific Federal Government funding for aged care to more than $850 million.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the latest injection of funds was aimed at ensuring aged care providers can offer reinforced levels of safety and care for those who need it most.

“Senior Australians are highly vulnerable to coronavirus and we are seeing the cost the pandemic is having on facilities around the country,” the Prime Minister said.

“This is about keeping those people in residential aged care, protected and safe.”

The announcement comes as National Cabinet assessed an aged care sector code of conduct for visitations to ensure residents can not only be kept safe but continue to receive the social and emotional support they need from their families at this time.

The payment – to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care providers – will be linked to the number of residents being cared for by each facility, and is aimed at covering the additional costs of caring for the health and wellbeing of residents during the pandemic.

The costs include additional staffing, training, supporting visitations and connections and the provision of personal protective equipment.

Facilities outside major metropolitan areas will receive a 50 per cent loading to cover the additional costs of providing care in these areas.

Providers will received around $900 per resident in major metropolitan areas and around $1350 per resident in all other areas.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said it was another measure to reinforce the sector and protect our loved ones.

“The health, wellbeing and safety of elderly residents is our highest priority – and this measure helps reassure family and friends that everything is being done to look after their loved ones during this most difficult time,” Minister Colbeck said.

The latest round of funding follows the $235 million retention bonus paid to residential and home care workers to strengthen the workforce during the pandemic and $101 million to support providers directly impacted by an outbreak.

Additionally, the Business Improvement Fund has been extended for another year with $48 million in support as required by providers.

“This payment will ensure providers continue to invest in COVID-19 preparedness to protect the people in their care,” Minister Colbeck said.

“We are seeing how devastating the impact of COVID-19 can be if there is an outbreak in an aged care facility.

“While Australia is doing well by international comparison, we must remain vigilant – particularly in residential aged care to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians.”

The draft code

According to COTA, consultations will take place next week with aged care residents, families, families of choice, friends, along with aged care providers and staff, closing at 3pm on Thursday 7 May.

It is envisaged the code will be finalised by Monday 11 May 2020.

The draft code is available here: www.cota.org.au/visitor-access-code/ or here: http://agedservices.asn.au/.

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  1. So does this mean aged care facilities such as Mecwacare will be employing more staff !!! as in staff ratio !!!!. because this is what is needed to give proper care to the elderly
    l

  2. As long as the big business of aged care keep hiring foureigners from overseas nothing will change. Pay peanuts. You know the rest. Do visa card holders complain of poor conditions and low wages like Australians would do? Now you know why Australians are The Token workers in so many businesses. Our big business is too greedy to hire Australians with the excuse that Australians don’t want to work in Aged Care. I know of so many Aussies that have applied for aged care and you never see them walking the wards, instead you see more and more Asian and Nepalese and their family members walking the wards! Yep it has become a family of foureigners. Worse when you have CMs looking after their wives making sure the wife is given the “easier jobs” and It is happening everywhere! God forbid you complain about a worker only to find out you are speaking to their relative! It was predicted yrs ago that this would happen that Australians would lose jobs to foureigners that work for less wages and unfair working conditions than Australians would have accepted once upon a time. Please make aged care more attractive. By paying a better hourly rate and hiring more full-time staff I do believe we would retain more staff in the industry if pay and conditions like ratios were mandated. Long term staff cannot be underestimated. They are more loyal when respected by management and know how to perform at their best when they are under stress. Communication is clearer with management as well. They don’t take time off in the droves for religious reasons either, leaving the rest of us short staffed. The residents also suffer here! The only reason there is still a smidgen of Aussie workers in aged care is to train the new foureign workers coming through the swinging doors of facilities across the nation! Australians work twice as hard in the industry carrying alot of the visa holders and being able to look outside the square. We Aussies are good at this you see. But we also complain too much when conditions become almost unbearable. On top of that when there are too many Aussies in a business they usually always join a union. Power in no’s you see! Business hate this!! Hence, more foureign workers to nip THAT problem in the bud!

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