As published in The West Australian Monday, 14 May 2018
The recent budget featured welcome changes as we move towards an approach to aged care that provides greater assurance, and acknowledges consumer choice to remain within our own homes wherever we can.
As Western Australia’s largest provider of in-home health and aged care services, Silver Chain Group sees each day the importance to our clients and their families of a range of initiatives flagged in the budget such as assistance with navigating the often complex and confusing aged care system whilst remaining connected to the community in which we live.
Choice is increasingly at the heart of aged care and health care reforms. Allowing older Australians to have their needs identified and met when it comes to where care is provided is central to providing the world’s best health and aged care, to those who have contributed so much throughout their lives.
Investing in dementia innovation, mental health services and support to our regional and remote communities is particularly welcome, as is addressing more directly the needs of Indigenous Australians.
Notable in the budget is the provision of additional funding aimed at focusing on the specific need for additional palliative care support in residential aged care facilities. A recently released Productivity Commission report identified this area of need and it is particularly pleasing to see this response from government.
The release of 14,000 additional home care packages, and 775 short term restorative care places will help many achieve their desire for independence within their own homes. The budget provides a foundation for further innovation which must respond to increased demand for services that reflect changing consumer and community expectations. Whilst clearly much more will be needed in the years ahead, this budget should be acknowledged for placing a spotlight on aged care, and hopefully encouraging a national debate.
Older Australians deserve to receive Best Care in the Best Place delivered by the Best People. This budget went some way to recognising the size of the issues we are all facing and the crucial importance identifying and responding to consumer choice.
Silver Chain Group will continue in partnership with governments across Australia to support and facilitate our clients expressed desire to be cared for and wherever possible to live their whole lives at home. We look forward to meeting the challenges of the future through high quality personal services coupled with new age technology, all with the simple goal of ‘Best Care’.