Residential aged care subsidies have received a $320 million boost, equating to an average additional $1,800 per permanent resident.
From March 20, the total Morrison government investment in aged care will be $467 million following the extra 9.5 per cent subsidy, which will be paid upfront to support all providers in the care of their residents over the next 18 months, while the Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety is conducted.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt says the boost provides additional support to the sector to deliver quality aged care services while the government considers longer-term reform funding options.
“We’re absolutely committed to providing senior Australians and the aged care sector with the support they need to provide quality services,” he said.
In a statement, Mr Wyatt says service providers that support senior Australians living in regional areas will receive an additional $101.9 million annual boost, as the viability supplement for eligible small, rural and remote residential aged care providers increases by 30 per cent from March 20.
The statement says more than 550 services, accounting for about 13,500 residential care places, currently receive the viability supplement to offset higher care costs in regional areas.
According to Mr Wyatt, the government is also providing an additional $35.7 million to increase home care supplements for people with moderate to severe levels of cognitive impairment and veterans with a mental health condition. Seniors with a history of, or who are at risk of, homelessness will also receive a 30 per cent boost through a $9.3 million funding injection for providers specialising in services for the homeless.
“This will help the more than 1,700 residents who are supported through 42 residential services across the country,” Mr Wyatt said. “Ensuring senior Australians are supported in their later years is an absolute priority of mine. These subsidy increases will help to ensure our senior Australians receive the best care possible.