Life on the land in Australia

Federal laws to transform aged care industry into user-pay model

PHYSICAL and sexual assaults, requests for $1 million bonds for humble rooms and one demand for $11 each time an elderly Brisbane blind woman was escorted to the lunch room are the ugly underbelly of an aged care industry set for a massive shake up.

A raft of new federal laws will transform the industry into a user-pay model, with a greater range of options.

Gail Harvey is now alone in her Shailer Park home after putting her husband in aged care six weeks ago image www.ozrural.com.au.

Gail Harvey is now alone in her Shailer Park home after putting her husband in aged care six weeks ago.

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The changes were created by the former Labor government and supported by the ruling Coalition.

With the central plank the removal of distinction between high and low care, the new regime allows the controversial “bond’’ system to apply to potentially millions more elderly Australians in the years ahead.

Jim Toohey, president of Carers Queensland, said the changes reflected the fact that providing high-quality care for our most rapidly growing demographic was not sustainable.

At 73, Gail Harvey should be enjoying travel, adventure and time with the grandkids but is grappling with the cost of care. The Shailer Park resident’s journey to secure a place for her 76-year-old terminally ill husband, John, is being mirrored across Australia.

With a family home worth about $550,000 and a super fund producing a modest income which still allows for a part pension, the Harveys have no place to hide when it comes to their resources being swallowed up.

John was recently placed in high care which allowed him to enter the home without having to pay the bond required in low care. But with basic care costs at $1130 a fortnight, the couple’s part pension is swallowed up immediately, leaving Mrs Harvey relying on her superannuation savings.

Originally published as Ugly underbelly of aged care industry

Henry Sapiecha

June 30th, 2014
Topic: AGED CARE, GOVERNMENT Tags: , , ,

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