The budget is all set to offer older Australians with services at home.
The budget provides $1.6 billion over a span of four years for 14,000 people to stay in their residences as opposed to going to stay at nursing homes.
“Just because you’re getting older does not mean you should surrender your dignity or your choices,” said Treasurer Scott Morrison.
The boost in funding boost would be welcome news to close to 74,000 people who would be able to gain access to home care packages by mid-2022.
The sector has been pining for up to 25,000 extra places to settle the backlog of people who are either waiting or making use of packages that do not have the full range of services that they actually need.
A Government loans scheme to let older people borrow against some of the equity in their home would be extended.
That is a sign that older people would be expected to be ready to cover some of the costs of living longer themselves, as well as leaning on Government funding packages.
Mental health of older Australians is also a priority
For those who are staying in a nursing home, the Government is pledging $83 million to tackle the shortage of mental health services in residential aged care facilities.
Helping residents deal with depression and loneliness would be the main focus of such a package.
The Government have taken note that men over the age of 85 have the highest risk of suicide of all age groups.
There is also $20 million for mental health nurses to aid older people still living at home who are isolated and at risk.
Improving the quality in the notorious nursing home sector would be a clear priority, with $50 million to help providers fulfil new standards as well as the setting up of an already flagged Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission that Health Minister Greg Hunt deems a “tough cop on the beat to ensure older Australians receive the best possible care.”
Aged care for Indigenous people will be allocated with $105 million to bolster access in remote areas.
And $40 million would be going towards crucial building and maintenance work for aged care providers in regional, rural and remote locales.
The Federal Government has also made moves to resolve a shortage of palliative care in nursing homes with a $33 million package.