FECCA today welcomed Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt’s backing for the continuation of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme beyond 2020.
Minister Wyatt confirmed this morning at a meeting of the National Aged Care Alliance in Canberra that he is personally committed the Programme, which helps older people stay independent and in their homes and communities for longer.
At the meeting, Minister Wyatt reinforced the important role of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme in providing entry level services to frail older Australians, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The Programme also provides the same entry level support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as older LGTBI Australians.
The Minister’s commitment does not preclude the Federal Government from pursuing reforms of the sector which aim to simplify access to services and facilitate a more seamless transition for older Australians from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme to the Home Care Packages Program.
FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos, who was present at the meeting, applauded Minister Wyatt for his recognition of the importance of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
"Culturally and linguistically diverse communities and specialist home support providers will be delighted with this news,” Ms Patetsos said.
“Essential cultural competencies are embedded in the aged care sector through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, and service delivery to older Australians would be negatively impacted without it.
“The loss of trusted specialist services would also compound the lack of access to services and the disadvantage experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse older Australians."
“FECCA will continue to work closely with the Minister and the Department to ensure high quality and inclusive aged care services for older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their carers.”
FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA's role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.
The Liberal and Nationals Government will deliver more support for older Australians, with a half a billion dollar ($552.9 million) increase to aged care funding including the release of 10,000 high-level home care packages within weeks.
We understand that older Australians prefer to receive support and services in their own home and live independently for as long as possible.
The 10,000 new high-level home care packages deliver important services at home, such as complex clinical care from a range of providers, nursing and mobility care, nutrition, hydration and meal preparation and transport support.
The packages and will be available in early 2019 and will be spilt across 5,000 level three and 5,000 level four care packages, providing up to $50,000 per person in services each year.
The $287 million home care expansion is on top of the extra 20,000 packages funded in the past year, which combined will result in a record 40 per cent increase in the number of people receiving home care packages.
We will also ease the cost of living for 70,000 older Australians by reducing the daily maximum fees payable by up to $400 per year for level one packages, $200 a year for level two packages and $100 a year for a level three packages.
Older Australians who are not currently charged this maximum fee will still benefit because we will increase the value of packages by providing a top-up payment for additional services by providers that is the same amount as the fee reduction.
We are also investing more in providers that support older Australians living in rural and remote areas and people who have been affected by homelessness.
These providers face unique circumstances and cost pressures and we want to ensure their sustainability.
The Viability Supplement for eligible residential aged care providers is to be increased by 30 per cent, through an investment of $101.9 million.
Currently, more than 550 services, accounting for around 13,500 residential care places, receive the Viability Supplement to offset higher care costs in regional areas.
The Homeless Supplement will also be increased by 30 per cent, through a $9.3 million funding injection. Currently, 42 residential services receive the homeless supplement on behalf of more than 1,700 residents.
We will also invest $98 million to fund increased payments to GPs to attend residential aged care homes to treat patients. This recognises the important role of GPs in supporting the health and care of patients in residential aged care.
These initiatives reflect the rollout of our Government’s unprecedented aged care improvements to help ensure older Australians receive the care they want and deserve, where and when they need it.
We have invested an extra $1 billion a year in aged care services since 2013 and have continued our record investment through the 2018/19 Budget’s $5 billion boost over the next four years.
Because without a strong economy and getting our budget back into balance, we can’t make these important decisions. This is why a strong economy matters; because it guarantees the essential services Australians rely on without higher taxes.
It is this strong economic management that ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding in aged care and other vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and public hospitals.
Even as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety goes about its’ important work, our commitment to improving care for older Australians will continue at full pace.
The Senior Citizen’s Club in Turner was abuzz on Saturday, May 9, 2015 as the doors opened to everyone who wanted to snap a bargain in time for Mother’s Day. Pat Gration, Club Vice-President and Centre Manager said the event was a joyous success but wishes the incident that happened the night before was all imagined. Everyone who flocked to the annual Autumn Fete had no idea that the premises had been broken into using a steel bar. The panel next to the front door was used as an entry point and Pat’s office was ransacked. While a lot has been done to track down the culprit/s, that’s little consolation to a non-profit organsation that’s working hard to keep afloat, and now has to cover cost of repair and possible increased insurance rates.
But everyone knows that when tragedy strikes, goodness reigns and that’s exactly what happened on that cold, frosty morning. The good people of ABC Radio 666 went on air to report the unfortunate news but subsequently advertised the event. As it turned out, listeners flocked with cash in their pockets to purchase not just one, but two or more items.
Pat was grateful for all who turned out, mainly all the helpers who had worked tirelessly days before the event. The Centre was filled to capacity, with the main hall and dining room set up with a variety of stalls from pre-loved clothing, ‘Trash and Treasure’, books, plants, homewares and cakes but it was the craft stall that raked in the highest sales for the day. It was a successful event indeed and congratulations to all who contributed in time and talent.
But the Senior Citizen’s Club doesn’t rest on its laurels....it’s a never ending job to keep the club going in order to continue their work in the community. In fact its members are already busy planning the Christmas Fete slated for November 7, 2015!
For other fun activities and fundraising events run by the club, visit http://canberraseniors.org.au
Lastly, I wanted to wish all my former workmates ‘Bon Voyage’ as they all travel overseas in the next few weeks to get away from the winter freeze. We certainly enjoyed catching up over dinner at Eastern Tiger, Phillip last Friday, June 19, 2015.
Well that’s it for now - for updates on sprucing up your home space and simple DIY projects connect with me via my fb page Space Solutions and don’t forget to click ‘Like.’ Until next edition, keep reading and be inspired.
by Agnes Nethercott
A number of supportive and still energetic senior citizens who are members of the Philippine Australian Society for Senior Citizens Incorporated (PASSCI) attended the Australian’s celebration of spring known as Floriade in Canberra.
These seniors are Lita and Toy Castor, Rollie & Fely Esturninos, Connie Bernabe, Agnes Nethercott, Violy & Ted Escultura.
Floriade celebration is from September up to the 14th of October 2012.
The group departed from Sydney Central Station at seven in the morning on the Xplorer train services to Canberra.
For the whole day there, they visited and appreciated the stunning floral displays of Floriade. The group enjoyed touring the magnificent garden beds, up-lifting entertainment of songs and dances and an insight into water wise garden. The members of the group were also intrigued and fascinated with the engaging exhibitions and other activities and events. The creativity and colours of the floral gardens were indeed very good and enchanting to the eyes of everyone that visited the Floriade.
The group also enjoyed their walk to the Green Gardens with its magical miniature world and manicured gardens. There was enough period to enjoy the festive atmosphere of Floriade and the members also enjoyed their lunch, varied and delicious.
Praise the Lord for a happy and safe trip.