$3.7 billion aged care reforms one step closer to reality

Legislation has now been passed in the House of Representatives in a major step forward for the Federal Labor Government’s $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms.

Labor candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said the reforms will deliver a huge boost to aged care services in the local community, which is under increasing pressure with an ageing population.

“There are 24,000 people over the age of 65 living in the Bendigo region and these reforms provide enormous peace of mind for all of us, knowing that services will be available to support us and our families when we need them,” Ms Chesters said.

"The reforms will see a substantial increase in home care services and more choice and control for older Australians about how their care is delivered."

"I know from the consultations held here in Bendigo and Central Victoria that most older people would prefer to remain living in their own home for as long as possible and these aged care reforms will almost double the number of home care packages available in our community over the next five years."

"What families want is choice and these reforms will allow for genuine choice."

Key aspects of the reforms include:

• Almost $1 billion in new funding for home care which will see the number of home support packages almost double from 60,000 to 100,000.
• Tailored care packages to people with dementia receiving home care, and new funding to boost dementia care.
• Increased funding to residential aged care with 30,000 new places over the next 5 years and $480 million for aged care homes to significantly upgrade their facilities.
• $1.2 billion to deliver higher wages, better conditions and more rewarding careers for the nation’s 350,000 aged care workers.
• A single gateway to all aged care services, to make them easier to access and navigate.

Ms Chesters said the Labor Government was pleased the legislation had been passed in the lower house and would now seek the support of all sides of politics to pass the legislation in the Senate, following consideration of a Senate Committee Inquiry report.

For more information on the Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms please visit www.livinglongerlivingbetter.gov.au.