As the Australian population ages, the demand for
accommodation, services and care within the aged care sector
continues to increase rapidly. This demand, the highly regulated
nature of the industry and the complex political and legislative
environment in which the industry operates present many challenges
for operators, providers and other stakeholders in this sector.
Here, Property & Projects Partner, Judd Last, looks at some of
OVERVIEW OF THE SECTOR
As we are living longer, the aged care industry is coming under
greater pressure. Currently, the Australian Government spends more
than $14 billion annually on aged care. This is anticipated to
increase to approximately $17.5 billion per annum by 2016/17.
The aged care system in Australia directly and indirectly
affects the lives of millions of Australians every day. Here are
some interesting facts:
More than 1 million people receive aged care services, with
over half a million people receiving "at home"
We have 2.7 million unpaid carers, many of whom are family
The industry employs around 350,000 aged care staff across some
2,100 aged care providers.
Millions of Australians have a loved one receiving aged care
services or are thinking about their own or someone else's
LIVING LONGER, LIVING BETTER REFORMS
The Federal Government has recently introduced a number of
important changes with the stated objective of ensuring aged care
is sustainable and affordable, offering choice and control to
consumers, encouraging businesses to invest and grow, and providing
diverse and rewarding career options.
The changes are intended to give older Australians more choices,
easier access and better care. They commenced in 2012, with the
first significant changes implemented on 1 July 2013. The second
tranche of major changes commenced on 1 July 2014.
The more notable changes include:
" greater support for older Australians to stay independent
in their own home by utilising more home care packages to meet
their needs; " greater choice and flexibility for seniors in
how they decide to pay for accommodation and services (allowing
them 28 days to decide how they wish to pay);
transparent accommodation prices and services, with all
residential aged care providers required to publish the maximum
amount they can charge for accommodation and extra services;
a new means test in residential aged care to help determine a
person's fair contribution to their accommodation and care
needs, which will also apply to home care packages;
new capping arrangements to assist make the system more
affordable overall for individuals; and
removing the distinction between high and low care in
residential aged care.
The changes will have a significant impact on financing and
funding arrangements in the residential aged care industry.
Generally, these reforms are expected to have a positive effect on
the aged care industry, but some have the potential to have a
The broad consensus is that the "for profit" operators
and providers specialising in high care needs and operating
facilities out of metropolitan or city areas are likely to receive
the greatest benefit from the reforms. Operators and providers who
focus predominantly in low care needs and operate facilities in
rural or regional areas appear less likely to receive the same
CLICK HERE FOR A REPORT PUBLISHED BY KORDAMENTHA
"RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE INDUSTRY: CONSOLIDATION AND
CONVERGENCE", PUBLICATION NO. 14-07, DECEMBER 2014.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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What happens if a patient, particularly a mental health patient,.
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