May 28, 2021

Wendy hopes the budget’s commitment to aged care will help her partner, but says she’s “doubtful”

Wendy home care SBS
Wendy Hora worries about the future for her partner, Thea, without adequate support. Source: SBS News.

“I would love it to materialise … because we’ve needed this package way back in August when Thea first had her brain injury,” Ms Hora told SBS News.

“The tumour has upset her executive function, so she doesn’t cope very well with day-to-day tasks.”

While the pair are hopeful about the budget commitment to more home care packages, they’re also cynical.

“I hope it’s going to make a difference, but I’m doubtful,” Ms Hora said.

“There’s money that’s been spoken about in the media a lot but none of it seems to come out the other end.

Ms Hora worries her partner’s future would be uncertain without her support. A home care package would provide care in her absence.

“If something happened to me medically, we would be in big strife,” Ms Hora said.

“She would be in full-time care and that would put her in total depression, and I think that would be the end of Thea.”

Wendy and Thea at home. Source: SBS News.

Budget commitments 

The $17.7 billion aged care budget includes 80,000 additional home care packages, more than 33,000 new training places for aged care workers, and a requirement for residents to receive 200 minutes of care a day, including 40 minutes with a registered nurse.

But experts like Doug Ross, a chief economist at Deloitte Access Economics, says these budget allocations won’t be enough.

Support for CALD Australians

The Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) says it welcomes the budget’s promised investment in aged care, particularly the pledged home care packages.

“Home care is a critical support for older CALD [culturally and linguistically diverse] Australians and there is an overwhelming preference amongst CALD communities to age at home,” the organisation said in a statement.

FECCA also supports the $65.2 million promised to increase translating and interpreting services to help more than 75,000 CALD Australians navigate the aged care system.

Ms Patetsos added it was critical that the Aged Care Advisory Council and the Council of Elders both include representatives with CALD expertise and lived experiences to ensure the sector is responsive to the needs of CALD Australians and their families.

Call for staff

Meanwhile aged care providers have welcomed the $650 million allocated to train and upskill workers across the sector.

They say a recruitment drive is now needed.

Tanith Martin worked in aviation for 10 years before deciding to study nursing during the pandemic. She is now training in aged care.

Experts say Australia faces a huge challenge to triple the aged care workforce by 2050.

Reaching this figure is important, says Pat Sparrow at the Australian Aged Care Collaboration, which represents more than 1,000 organisations delivering aged care to approximately 1.3 million Australians.

“The thing about aged care is that we’ve all got somebody in our lives, if we are lucky, that we love who is older, and if we’re lucky, we’ll one day be older  people,” Ms Sparrow told SBS News.

“It’s certainly not perfect but it goes a long way to address the recommendations of the Royal Commission,” AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid told SBS News.

The government is drafting the New Aged Care Act, but it won’t be introduced until 2023.

Article originally published by SBS News. Republished with permission. 

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  1. The hypocracy I hope is not wasted on others.
    People have been banging on endlessly about too many foreign staff and yet $65.2 million is granted to assist with translation etc.

    The foreign carers do a fantastic job, translation and language diversity doesn’t stop outside the nursing home doors. Multicultural society is now well and truly in aged care and these staff members should be respected for the work they do.


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