An extra 10,000 older Australians who need high-level care will be given money to receive support at home, as part of a $552.9 million boost to federal government aged care funding.
The extra funding will be rolled out over the forward estimates – or up to mid-2022 – with $287 million going towards the new home care packages, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce on Monday.
Half of the new packages will involve payments of up to $33,000 per individual each year, while the other half – for older people with the greatest care needs – will involve payments of up to $50,250.
Mr Morrison said older Australians built the nation and deserve respect and support for the choices they make.
‘We know many older Australians want to stay in their own home and this package delivers just that – support and high-level care at home,’ he said in a statement.
‘As a nation we must continue to support our older Australians and I remain absolutely committed to doing more.’
The extra packages, which will be available from early 2019, come after the government offered 20,000 more packages in the past year.
The latest Department of Health annual report put the total number of home care packages delivered in 2017/18 at about 100,000.
Senior Australians living at home with lower-level care needs will also have their costs reduced as part of the government’s funding windfall, through a reduction in their maximum daily fees.
Those requiring the lowest level of care will save $400 a year, while those with level two home care plans will save $200 annually and those with level three plans will save $100.
People not being charged the maximum daily fee will also benefit through a top-off payment for additional services.
Residential aged care centres in remote and rural Australia will also get extra funding, with a supplement they get boosted by 30 per cent.
A supplement for centres supporting people with homelessness backgrounds will also be increased by 30 per cent.
The regional payments will cost the government $101.9 million, while the homeless payments will cost $9.3 million.
Another $98 million will be spent on extra payments for doctors who attend residential aged care homes to treat residents.