Caring For Older Australians – Final Report

Today the Productivity Commission released its final report Caring For Older Australians. The Government announced that it will engage with the community and industry stakeholders in the near future, making a determination to begin the reforms necessary for the aged care sector within its current term of government.

The report proposes key reforms including:

  • The establishment of an Australian Seniors Gateway Agency (ASGA) to provide information, needs assessment, care coordination and carer referral services.
  • The establishment of the Australian Aged Care Commission as a new independent regulatory agency.
  • The expansion of training programs in conjunction with universities and providers to provide appropriate training for medical, nursing and allied health students and professionals.
  • The removal of regulatory restrictions on the number of aged care beds.
  • The establishment of an Australian Age Pensioners Savings Account to allow pensioners to establish an account with the proceeds of the sale of their family home, that would be exempt from income and assets tests for the purposes of the pension.
  • The establishment of an Aged Care Home Credit scheme under which individuals could receive a line of credit secured against the value of their home, allowing them to make a co-contribution to the cost of their care and support.
  • The development of a co-ordinated and integrated national policy approach to the provision of home maintenance and modification services, and the development of building design standards for residential housing to meet the access and mobility needs of older Australians.
  • The development of Carers Support Centres to undertake a comprehensive and consistent assessment of carer needs, provide education and training, emergency respite services, advocacy and carer counselling and support.

The report also recommends that the regulation of retirement villages should remain the responsibility of the states and territories, albeit with the pursuit of nationally consistent legislation under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

The report is available for download here.

For more information, contact your Hawker Britton consultant.