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Transforming Aged Care: Albanese Labor's Bold Steps Toward Quality Living for Older Australians

on Tuesday, May 14, 2024

In a monumental effort to redefine the landscape of aged care, the Albanese Labor Government has embarked on a mission to prioritise the well-being of older Australians like never before. From bolstering workforce capabilities to enhancing regulatory oversight, the government's initiatives are poised to usher in a new era of quality and compassion in aged care services as outlined in the 2024-2025 budget.

 

This 2024-25 Budget is set to invest $2.2 billion into aged care to:

  • reinforce the foundations and connections that underpin quality aged care
  • reduce wait times for older people seeking Home Care Packages
  • bolster the aged care workforce
  • deliver an enhanced quality and safety regulator
  • upgrade technology systems and digital infrastructure across the aged care sector

Empowering Residential Aged Care:

With a commitment to restoring dignity and respect to our elderly population, the Albanese Government has spearheaded initiatives to enhance the quality of care in residential aged care facilities. Since the October 2022–23 Budget, there has been a notable 30% increase in investment in aged care services. This includes a groundbreaking $11.3 billion investment to elevate aged care wages, marking a historic milestone in the sector's evolution. Consequently, older Australians now benefit from an additional 3.6 million minutes of care each day, with a significant improvement in the quality of residential facilities.

Promoting Ageing in Place:

Recognising the importance of maintaining independence and community connections, the government is investing $531.4 million to provide an extra 24,100 Home Care Packages in 2024–25. This substantial allocation ensures that more Australians have the option to receive care in the comfort of their homes, fostering a sense of belonging and autonomy.

Strengthening Regulatory Oversight:

In a bid to uphold standards of quality and safety, the Albanese Government is reinforcing the capabilities of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Through an investment of $1.4 billion in technology infrastructure, the government aims to modernise aged care systems and ensure robust regulatory frameworks are in place.

Building a Skilled Workforce:

A vital component of delivering quality aged care services is nurturing a skilled and dedicated workforce. With an investment of $88.4 million, the government is committed to attracting and retaining talent within the sector, thereby ensuring continuity and excellence in care provision.

Integrating Healthcare Services:

In a move to create stronger connections between aged care and the broader healthcare system, the government is implementing measures to facilitate seamless transitions and comprehensive care for older individuals. Through initiatives like Strengthening Medicare, older Australians can access timely medical support and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

Affordable Medication Access:

Acknowledging the financial challenges faced by older Australians, particularly concerning medication expenses, the government is committed to keeping medicines affordable. Measures such as freezing the cost of PBS prescriptions for pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Cardholders alleviate financial strain and ensure equitable access to essential medications.

Enhancing Dementia Care:

Recognising the growing need for specialised care for individuals living with dementia, the government has allocated $101.4 million to improve services and support. This investment aims to prepare the health system for advancements in diagnosis and treatment, ensuring that individuals receive the tailored care they deserve.

The investments outlined in the 2024–25 Budget signify a paradigm shift in aged care, with a focus on empowerment, innovation, and inclusivity. By prioritising the needs of older Australians and investing in a comprehensive continuum of care, the Albanese Government is laying the groundwork for a more equitable and compassionate aged care system.