The Fleurieu App
The Fleurieu App
Fleurieu at your fingertips
advertisement
Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store
loading...
The Fleurieu App

MP calls aged care a national shame

The Fleurieu App

Staff Reporters

08 May 2024, 8:31 PM

MP calls aged care a national shame

Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie MP says she is appalled by falling levels of real investment in basic levels of home support for older Australians, despite a rapidly growing older population. 


Ms Sharkie has called the growing waiting list for Home Care Packages a national shame, and is urging the federal government to adequately resource it.


She wants it to commit to funding an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages over the next three financial years in next week's Federal Budget, to fill the gaps in much needed care.


The number of people aged over 65 years in Ms Sharkie's electorate of Mayo almost doubled over the last decade, she says, up from 23,939 in 2011 to 42,398 in the 2021 ABS Census. 


Australia-wide, between 2000 and 2020, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 12.4 per cent to 16.3 per cent. 


Further, the Treasury's Intergenerational Report states that "the share of the population aged 65 and over is projected to increase by 6.1 percentage points by 2062–63, to 23.4 per cent".


Despite this, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Aged Care Data Snapshot annual series shows the real investment in 'low value' Commonwealth Home Support Program services has fallen in real terms over recent years.


“My team and I are inundated by constituents who cannot find a provider for lower level Commonwealth Support at Home (CHSP) services such as gardening, cleaning and home maintenance,” Ms Sharkie says. 


“Some of them are simply unable to find such services even after years of contacting providers, many of whom no longer keep waiting lists. 


“Nor can they access CHSP block funding to pay for the services privately that they have been approved to receive.'


“Lower level CHSP investment at the start of the aged care journey can help to forestall poor-health and falls, easing pressure on other parts of the aged care system, as well as our health and hospital systems. 


“It can be a lifeline for those on the growing national priority system waiting list for Home Care Packages.”


“I want to see more investment in a faster assessment process to access aged care, and then waiting lists for approved CHSP and Home Care Packages need to be urgently brought down. 


“Older people must be able to access the support they deserve to maintain their health, dignity and independence. 


“This benefits them and is also more cost effective for the taxpayer, so I'm unsure what the Government is waiting for.


“Aged care at home is failing and needs to be properly funded in the 2024-25 Federal Budget, or older Australians will continue to suffer waiting for care.”

The Fleurieu App
The Fleurieu App
Fleurieu at your fingertips

Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store