Some of the aged care sector’s strongest voices have joined in chorus to propose to government a package of urgent measures they say is needed to ensure the safety of workers and the people in their care.
Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), the Aged Care Guild, Anglicare Australia, BaptistCare Australia, Catholic Health Australia, Leading Age Services Australia and UnitingCare Australia said COVID-19 was pushing providers closer to collapse.
ACSA chief executive Patricia Sparrow said the risks the aged care sector face right now are as real as the challenges faced by airlines, tourism and hospitality.
“We need an emergency intervention to ensure we can stay open and continue to keep people safe,” Sparrow said.
“With the right support, workers in other affected sectors can be retrained to support aged care.”
Here’s what the sector said it needs to stay open and keep older Australians safe:
- $15 per day, per resident, for six months to meet increased direct care costs
- $10 per day, per client, for six months to meet increased direct care costs
- $500 million pool of funds for information technology measures and training to reduce social isolation and loneliness
- A pandemic workforce fund to support staff forced to isolate and reduce infection risk to older Australians
- Securing Refundable Accommodation Deposits and making improvements to the Aged Care Funding Instrument to keep providers financially viable and available for those who need them
The proposal was sparked by a lack of response from government to the underlying financial situation.
Releasing the rescue measures, the peaks said: “The sector desperately needs this support from government to help them do their job and ensure senior Australians across the country receive the care they need and deserve.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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