Older Australians will be able to take direct control of their own home care funding under federal government changes.
More than 100,000 of them will be able to choose and change service providers within a consistent national process for prioritising access to home care as red tape for providers is reduced.
“Most importantly, funding for a home care package will be portable,” the Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said in Canberra on Monday.
“If for example you live in Melbourne and decide you want to live in Perth to be closer to your family, your home care package shouldn’t stop you moving interstate.”
The minister acknowledged there was a risk in handing over control to some individuals.
“So they have family members, or they sometimes have a guardianship or they will have a carer to help in that… I’m quite comfortable with the levels of interaction.”
Pat Sparrow, from Aged & Community Services Australia, has been involved in developing the changes since 2012.
“What aged care providers want to do is deliver the very best services to older Australians,” she said.
“This change means providers will be able to do that.”
There would be a more direct relationship between the provider and the consumer rather than between the provider and government.
Judy Gregurke, from Aged Care Reform, said that flexibility was at the heart of the changes.
“Just because people get older they don’t lose the capacity to make a choice to have a preference and to be able to really put things how they want them,” she said.
No changes will be made to current fee and testing arrangements.