On the 20th April 2012, the Federal Government launched the ‘Living Longer, Living Better’ reform plan. The Living Longer Living Better reform plan will deliver $3.7 billion to offer more choice, easier access and better care for older Australians and their families. One of the main aims of the reform agenda is to keep elderly people in their homes for as long as possible. Federally, this is being addressed by increasing home care packages from the current 60,000 to 100,000 by 2019.
The federally funded increase in home care packages is substantial; however, will not meet the market demand for home care for the elderly (of the 1 million Australians who use an aged care service, around 800,000 are home based care including personal car (bathing/dressing), meals, laundry, housework, gardening, shopping). A study conducted by Ellis Jones in 2011 reveals over 330,000 people with some level of on-going care needs leave Australian hospitals every year. That number is increasing at over 14% each year and the overwhelming majority do not receive government care packages.
Some other key items of the reform agenda (effective July 2014) are:
- The removal of the distinction between high and low care in residential aged care, opening up the option for every resident paying a bond and/or periodic payment for their accommodation. The Aged Care Financing Authority will regulate the bond levels charged federally
- Increasing of the residential aged care places from 191,522 to 221,103
- Providing more funding for dementia care in aged care, and more support for services.
- Establishing a single gateway to all aged care services, to make them easier to access and navigate and setting stricter standards, with greater oversight of aged care.
We believe Warrina Homes is well poised to embrace The Living Longer Living Better reform plan. We already had provisional plans in place in alignment with the proposed reforms that have been released.
Warrina Homes continues to maintain healthy operating surpluses each month – leading to us having an exceptional net asset base of $24.62M, which allows us to invest in the future with confidence. Therefore, with God’s help, we are positive that this Strategic Plan will deliver on that future.