In a newly released Position Paper, NARI analyses the Federal Government’s responses to key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in relation to home care, and identifies where more could be done.
“The Royal Commission highlighted that older Australians want to remain at home, but the current aged care system is not providing adequate access to services and supports to help them remain at home,” Associate Professor Frances Batchelor, Director of Clinical Gerontology at NARI, says.
NARI says the aged care system should be needs-based, not rationed, similar to the way in which the health care system works.
“Funding should be linked to individual needs and care planning. Under the current model, bundled funding is allocated to a limited number of older people in need. This model lacks flexibility and is not truly tied to the unique needs of each older person.”
“Funding needs to be better distributed so it is allocated in a more cost-effective way, to ensure every person in need of care at home is able to receive it, when they need it.”
NARI also supports the introduction of a more streamlined, effective and flexible process of needs assessment that improves the experience of older people and their families when accessing aged care services.
“There is particular need for flexible assessment processes and funding allocation based on individual needs,” Associate Professor Batchelor says.
Based on its research and experience in the aged care sector, NARI says systemic – rather than incremental reform – of the home care system, is crucial, including:
“We welcome the Government’s funding of 80,000 additional home care packages over the next two years, however, for as long as current model stays in place, older Australians will continue to wait long periods of time to access home care,” Associate Professor Batchelor says.
NARI’s Position Paper ‘Transforming the system of home care for older Australians’ is available at www.nari.net.au/position-paper-transforming-the-system-of-home-care-for-older-australians.