The Government has announced it will fund 475 Short-Term Restorative Care places as part of the 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) to help older people remain in their own homes for longer after injury or illness.
“The new short-term restorative care places aim to help people, who are experiencing illness or who have suffered an injury, from prematurely entering residential aged care,” Minister Wyatt said.
“It will help older people to manage daily tasks, maintain their independence and stay in their homes for as long as possible.
“It increases the care options available in circumstances, for example, where older people would benefit from targeted intervention to recover from short-term incapacity or injury.”
“This new approach provides older people with short-term care packages of up to eight weeks to help them get back on their feet and improve their quality of life.”
“The care plan is designed with, and approved by, the person receiving the care and can be delivered at home, in an aged care home or a combination of both.”
If an older person suffered a fall at home and was approved for Short-Term Restorative Care, their care provider could arrange for physical therapy with the support of the person’s doctor and allied health professionals, who would work together to identify potential hazards in their home and get them back on their feet over an eight-week period.
ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said the commencement of the restorative care program is welcomed by providers as a new service for consumers.
“ACSA very much welcomes today’s announcement of the commencement of the program. Our aged care provider members have a strong commitment towards restorative care and do great work in this area,” ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said.
“The number of applications for the places available are a good indication of this commitment. Aged care providers want to be able to adopt restorative care approaches in all of the services they deliver. How this can be achieved will be an ongoing discussion point as aged care reform progresses.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has announced a review into the progress of the home care sector’s progress in embedding wellness and reablement approaches.
It has appointed Nous Group to report on how to progress the implementation of these approaches including a full review of CHSP, home care packages, transition care, short term restorative care and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.
Mr Wyatt said 400 of the Short-Term Restorative Care places would be available in 2016−17, with the remaining 75 places to be available in 2017–18, with the total expenditure estimated to be $34.7 million per year.
The eight-week time limit that applies to this program means that from next year more than 3,000 older people can potentially access this program through these 475 places.
“Older Australians want and need flexible services that will help them when they need it and encourage independence for as long as possible.
“Short-Term Restorative Care is just that – helping people age well and access care when and where they need it on an ‘as-needs’ basis.
“This package represents a big step forward in designing services that place the needs and wishes of the consumer at the core.”
Additional residential aged care places and the capital grant components of the 2016–17 Aged Care Approvals Round will be announced at a later date.
Information about the 2016−17 Short-Term Restorative Care outcomes, including details of the successful approved providers, is available on the Department of Health’s website.
Providers interested in participating in Nous Group’s review are invited to contact LASA’s Queensland state manager, Kerri Lanchester on firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 3 March.