Mar 25, 2020

Measures to support Senior Australians and those who care for them

Today the National Cabinet agreed on temporary funding to support Aged Care providers, residents, staff and families.

Building on the package of measures announced last week, additional funding of $444.6 million is expected to strengthen the industry, with specific mechanisms to reinforce the aged care workforce.

It will include:

  • $234.9 million for a COVID-19 ‘retention bonus’ to ensure the continuity of the workforce for aged care workers in both residential and home care.
    • This will mean a payment of up to $800 after tax per quarter – paid for two quarters – for direct care workers.
    • Two payments of up to $600 after tax per quarter – for two quarters – for those who provide care in the home.
    • Payments will be delivered to providers to pay their workers and part-time workers will be paid a pro-rata rate.
  • $78.3 million in additional funding for residential care to support continuity of workforce supply.
  • $26.9 million for a temporary 30 per cent increase to the Residential and Home Care Viability Supplements and the Homeless Supplement. This includes equivalent viability funding increases for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program providers, Multi-Purpose Services and homeless providers.
  • $92.2 million in additional support to home care providers and organisations which deliver the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, operating services including meals on wheels. This will include services for people in self-isolation such as shopping and meal delivery.
  • $12.3 million to support the My Aged Care service to meet the surge in aged care specific COVID-19 enquiries, allowing for additional staff to minimise call wait times.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said these important measures offered a reinforced framework to ensure the sector would continue to support those we love most.

“As the transmission of COVID-19 increases rapidly, it is our priority to protect and support elderly and vulnerable Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Aged care is a critical sector that faces staffing challenges as existing staff are either subject to self-isolation requirements due to COVID-19 or are unable to attend work.

“We know we are asking a lot of this critical workforce as we face this unprecedented health emergency. Their work practices are changing – and today’s announcement is in recognition of this.

“The Government will continue to work with the sector to ensure we have the strongest possible workforce in place as we deal with this extraordinary health challenge.”

Minister Colbeck said guidelines for Aged Care facilities remained in place.

Additional fact sheets released by the Department of Health now include:

Minister Colbeck said the care and wellbeing of senior Australians remained a priority in this uncertain time.

“We are facing an extraordinary health challenge and we need to work together to protect the Australians most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Our number one priority is to slow the spread of coronavirus to save lives.

“The Australian Government will continue to act on advice and update the sector as we face this challenge together.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Why carnt this payment be directed into the workers payment accounts . I think that most of us will not see or receive any of this payment . I haven’t even been paid my back pay from last June . What a joke

Banner Banner

Accusations of Aged Care Home “Drugging” Residents

With short staffing in many aged care facilities, many carers and nurses find themselves thinly spread across a high number of residents. And to cope with the workload, many residents get overloaded with medication to make them more manageable. Today, doctors from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) have spoken out against the practice. They say... Read More

New technologies help aged care providers deliver holistic care to residents

Andres Rehbein, who is a self-confessed IT “nerd”, is using technology to improve efficiency and quality of care at Queensland-based aged care provider, PresCare. At Akolade’s Technology in Aged Care Forum, held on 26-28 June, Andres Rehbein spoke of the ways he and his team at PresCare have used technology to improve efficiency in their... Read More

Government must provide better protection for aged care nurses and residents

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), is working with the Federal Government, health departments and industry stakeholders on contingency plans to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the aged care workforce and vulnerable nursing home residents. The ANMF is warning that urgent, co-ordinated action is needed to... Read More
Banner Banner