As someone who talks with a lot of recently retired baby boomers, I have an important message for you.
“Don’t spend all your money on caravans and cruises”
Save some for your age care because on present indications, you can’t rely on the federal government to be taking care of you.
It would seem the current age care system is on life support.
The Federal government has ripped millions out of the residential aged care over the past few years, by freezing the indexation of care funding, by removing various supplements and by manipulating the funding rules.
Of course, they deny that.
Why does this matter? Well, this is how the system works.
As we live longer, the numbers requiring care are going through the roof. The Federal government needs profit and not-for-profit providers to do this work, as it doesn’t want to be the care provider. They assume they can’t do this efficiently or as cost-effectively as the private sector.
These providers rely on the taxpayer for about 70% of their revenue, most of which directly funds nursing and personal care in homes.
The arithmetic is simple: the population is growing older and while the number of places are expanding, the medical and care subsidies are not growing. So, it’s no surprise that respected industry accounting firm Stuart Brown has found that in the six months to December 2017, 41% of residential facilities operate at a loss.
How long do you think that can continue, and who is going to invest if those are the returns?
A study into these costs is underway and is due to report in December.
Here’s the problem. Without the providers there is no age care sector and the government know it.
This may explain why the compliance regime in age care has been so weak, even after providers are caught doing the wrong thing time and time again.
Hence a Royal Commission.
It will uncover horrific stories of abuse and neglect, but the government is already in possession of reams of its own reports it has commissioned through the years that already provide it with this evidence.
Time for them to spend some money because as we are seeing, when it dries up, older Australians suffer.
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