Labor increasing aged care places in Bendigo

Older Australians in the Bendigo electorate can look forward to better services in their later years with the announcement of a major increase in aged care places, as part of more than $500 million in new annual aged care funding.

Lisa Chesters, Labor candidate for Bendigo, said the Australian Government’s 2012-13 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) would result in 79 new aged care places for Bendigo, including 2 residential aged care places and 77 home care packages.

Across Australia, ACAR will also provide aged care homes with $51 million for capital works and deliver $156 million in zero real interest loans to help providers build or upgrade their facilities.

Ms Chesters said the allocation of these new places through the ACAR was a key step forward in the delivery of the Government’s Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package.

“Labor is building a better and fairer aged care system so that older Australians can look forward to more certainty and greater choice of care in their later years. This ACAR will make a real difference in aged care services for the people of Bendigo and Central Victoria.”

“Under Labor, the number of Home Care packages will more than double over the next 10 years from about 60,000 to 140,000, meaning more Australians can remain in their own homes as they age,” Ms Chesters said.

Ms Chesters said older people and their carers would also have a greater say in the services they receive through the Australian Government’s Consumer Directed Care approach.

“Consumer Directed Care is the future of aged care. It aims to put consumers squarely in control of the services they receive. All Home Care Packages allocated in this year’s ACAR must be offered on a Consumer Directed Care basis and from July 2015 all Home Care Packages will be Consumer Directed.”