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New restorative care places to roll out across Australia

Peak bodies have welcomed the allocation of 775 new short-term restorative care places, announced today by the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.

The additional $58 million in annual funding will see the number of Australians receiving restorative care each year jump from 3088 to 8125.

Ken Wyatt said the program is a proven way of getting older adults back on their feet. Delivered over a period of up to eight weeks, the reablement program often includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and home and furniture modifications.

“People want and deserve flexible services when they need them, to restore and maintain their independence for as long as possible,” Wyatt said. “Short-term restorative care boosts health, gets people up and about and improves their wellbeing and outlook on life.”

State and territory breakdown of new places. Table: Department of Health

Aged and Community Services Australia chief executive Pat Sparrow said the allocation of new restorative care places “highlights how critical it is that the public discussion and Royal Commission investigates and considers how the community’s expectations for supporting older Australians are best met and how aged care will be financed to do that”.

Welcoming the move, COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said: “Too many people are unnecessarily and prematurely admitted into residential care or even assigned high level home care packages, making them dependent on long term care, when the right supports delivered promptly and tailored to each person’s needs can restore their capacities with much lower levels of ongoing support.”

Yates said he wants to see a similar approach to choice and control taken across the board in aged care policy, particularly through a single integrated Care at Home program focused on supporting people to stay at home “without having to fit into artificial ‘silos’ created by different government programs with confusing and overlapping rules, assessments and funding arrangements”.

“The fundamental challenge in aged care policy is coming up with ways to ensure older Australians maintain autonomy and have control over their own lives – this announcement today hits the nail on the head and should serve as a guide for all future aged care reform,” said Yates.

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One comment

  1. These figures don’t make sense.
    Current places 475 + new 775 = 1250 places total an increase of 63%
    Where does 3088 to 8125 ( an increase of 163% ) fit into the equation?