19 Sep, 2019
The waiting list for a home care package has fallen for the first time, according to new government data, but experts say the wait is still too long, with 43 Australians dying every day without ever receiving the home care they were promised.
The Home Care Packages Program Data Report from the federal Department of Health said that in the quarter to June 30, the number of people waiting for a home care package that met their needs dropped 7 per cent to 119,524 on the previous quarter. A total of 125,117 Australians now have access to a home care package, an increase of more than 25,000 people over the 12 months to June 30.
But the number of people having been approved to receive government-subsidised home care services but not yet receiving them, and the time those people must wait for their approved services to be delivered, remains a sore point.
The government’s own aged care platform, My Aged Care, acknowledges that people requiring anything but the most basic level of home care face a wait of more than 12 months for their care to commence. And COTA, the peak group representing older Australians, has claimed that that official number understates the wait many people experience.