Government needs to do more on in-home care, says Household Capital
08 April 2019: Household Capital, an independent, specialist retirement funding provider, commended the federal government’s announcement that it will fund an additional ten thousand inhome care packages but warned that more needed to be urgently done to meet the needs of ageing Australians.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recently focused on aged care in the home. The commission was told that while most Australians want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, older Australians face an average wait of 18-24 months for a home care package.
According to the federal government’s own data, published in its report Home care packages program data report 1 October – 31 December 2018, there were 73,978 people waiting on a home care package at their approved level at 31 December 2018.
However, Josh Funder, Household Capital’s Chief Executive Officer, said the government’s budget measures don’t come close to covering the needs of retired Australians.
“As well as those not receiving any in-home care, at the end of 2018 there were 53,770 people who were waiting for a home care package at their approved level; instead they were making do with a lower level package.”
“We need to do more to help the 50,000 retirees struggling to live in their own home because their care needs are not being met.”
Australians prefer to age in home
As suggested by the waiting list for in-home care packages, Australians want to retire at home. This is backed up by two studies in the past five years. One of the key findings from Aegon’s global Retirement Readiness Survey 2018 is the widespread desire to remain in and enjoy one’s own home in retirement. Globally, 70 percent of respondents said remaining in their own home is either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important to them as they grow older; as illustrated in the following chart, this is particularly important to Australian retirees.
This backs up the earlier findings from the Productivity Commission in its 2015 study Housing Decisions of Older Australians, illustrated in the following chart.
“Australian retirees have made it clear that they want to age in place at home,” said Mr Funder.
“As the baby boomers move through retirement, this will put the government of the day under increased pressure to fund the care needs of this growing cohort. “We need innovative approaches from both government and private providers to address the aged-care needs of retired Australians.”
Home equity can support in-home care
With so many people preferring to stay in their own home as they age, the untapped savings in the family home is a valuable resource that can be drawn on to fund in-home care and home renovations to enable retirees to live safely and comfortably at home.
Household Capital helps retired Australian homeowners access the value of their homes through a Household Loan. The retiree maintains ownership while drawing on their home equity to finance appropriate renovations and in-home care.
“A Household Loan gives retirees choice and flexibility when it comes to their in-home care needs,” said Mr Funder.
“They’re not beholden to the level of care as decreed by a government bureaucrat; instead they can afford the care they deserve and remain in their family home as long as they wish.”
Applications for credit are subject to eligibility and lending criteria. Fees and charges are payable and terms and conditions apply (available on request). Household Capital Pty Limited is a credit representative (512757) of Mortgage Direct Pty Limited ACN 075 721 434. Australian Credit Licence 391876.