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What does the 2024-25 Federal Budget mean for seniors?

You might have seen the news about the new Federal Budget, which was handed down on May 14, 2024. As part of the Budget, there is a $2.2 billion dollar investment into aged care. 

We’re here to break it down so that you understand what it means for you, or for the seniors in your life. 

How could I benefit from the release of more Home Care Packages?  

As part of this investment, $531.4 million will fund an additional 24,100 Home Care Packages.  

This substantial increase in Home Care Packages means more support will be available – and faster – to help seniors live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.  

Right now, there is a significant shortage of Home Care Packages with seniors enduring long waiting times to receive the support they need. It is currently estimated that after you are assessed and deemed eligible for a Home Care Package (which can take weeks to months in itself), the following wait times for a ‘medium priority’ person are:  

Package level Approximate wait time
Level 1 Less than 1 month
Level 2 3 – 6 months
Level 3 12 – 15 months
Level 4 6 – 9 months

* last revised 30 April 2024

(Source: My Aged Care) 

By introducing 24,100 new Home Care Packages, the government is aiming to reduce these wait times to an average of six months so that seniors have quicker access to the services they need, such as nursing support, personal care, domestic assistance, and transport. 

I don’t have a Home Care Package. How can I make the most of this opportunity? 

If you’ve been thinking a little (or a lot!) of support at home would improve your health and day-to-day life, the release of extra Home Care packages means there’s no better time to apply. 

Accessing Home Care Package services sooner rather than later can help prevent further health and wellbeing decline. Additionally, some people may require a lower level of care initially, but need more support in the months or years to come. Applying early allows for a smoother transition to higher levels of care when needed. 

How do I start the process to apply for a Home Care Package? 

Here’s a simple 5 step overview: 

Step 1: Home Care Package assessment: This must be organised through My Aged Care by calling 1800 200 422 or visiting the My Aged Care website 

Step 2: Research Home Care Package providers: As the assessment outcome can take several weeks to a few months, start researching Home Care Package providers now. This way, when you receive a letter advising your eligibility, you are ready to complete the next step (a Home Care Package application) right away.  

If approved: 

Step 3: Home Care Package application: You can now complete your Home Care Package application. This is where you can nominate preferred providers. 

Step 4: The outcome: You will receive a letter of approval with your assigned package level. You’ll then complete a Home Care Package agreement with your provider who will work with you to develop a care plan tailored to your individual needs.

Step 5: Home care services commence

Photo of older man and woman using tablet

How can Feros Care help? 

We understand you may feel overwhelmed and are here to make your aged care journey as easy and stress-free as possible. We will answer any questions regarding your needs, Home Care Package services available, other services available, or for some friendly advice to help you with the above 5-step process.  

Back to the budget…how else is the money being used? 

In addition to funding several initiatives to provide an enhanced quality and safety regulator, here is a snapshot of where the money is going: 

Aged care workers – the people helping you – will receive an average 23% pay rise. This has a ripple effect for seniors, who will benefit from improved care quality, greater caregiver stability, and more personalised attention. 

My Aged Care will receive $37 million to reduce call waiting times. 

Aged care digital systems will receive a $1.4 billion boost to maximise efficiency and improve integration between aged care and health systems. 

The Specialist Dementia Care Program will receive $32.1 million to provide tailored care and support to those living with dementia, improving their quality of life and reducing hospitalisations. 

Dementia research will receive a portion of the $141.1 million funding as the government aims to improve health outcomes for various chronic conditions.

Medicare will receive $2.8 billion to help older patients avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, and improve support when transitioning out of hospital into other settings.

Want to find out more about upcoming changes to aged care? Our Reform Hub features everything you need to know about the reform to in-home care, currently scheduled for July 2025. Find it here.

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