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Home care crisis deepens as older Australians waiting for care grows to almost 105,000



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THE HON. JULIE COLLINS MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND MENTAL HEALTH MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN

HOME CARE CRISIS DEEPENS AS OLDER AUSTRALIANS WAITING FOR CARE GROWS TO ALMOST 105,000

The release of the latest data on the Turnbull Government’s home care packages has revealed close to 105,000 vulnerable older Australians are waiting for care.

In an extraordinary moment of political spin, the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, said the growing waitlist is on a ‘positive trajectory’.

It is not ‘positive’ that the waiting list has grown by almost 15,000 since the home care package reforms were introduced just over a year ago.

This waiting list includes close to 82,000 older Australians waiting with high needs, many with dementia. This is a crisis and it is unacceptable.

The disturbing data was again quietly released on a Friday afternoon, just days after the Department of Health refused to release it in Supplementary Estimates.

New South Wales again tops the waiting list with more than 35,000 older Australians in the state waiting for a package.

HOME CARE PACKAGES WAITING LIST:

Source: HOME CARE PACKAGES PROGRAM, Data Report, 1 October - 31 December 2017, Department of Health

The Government’s home care package changes, as part of the Living Longer Living Better reforms, were meant to put older Australians at the centre of their care, meaning they could make decisions based on their needs rather than being told what they need.

With wait times blowing out and more and more older Australians joining the queue for care it is clear the Government needs to act now.

The Turnbull Government is failing the task of caring for older Australians with no solutions to deal with this growing crisis.

Labor has repeatedly called on the Turnbull Government to fix this crisis as the waiting list and waiting times continue to grow.

Older Australians waiting for a home care package deserve better.

MONDAY, 5 MARCH 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS: LIAM CARSWELL 0438 469 119