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Older Australians who can afford to are likely to be paying more for their nursing home accommodation and everyday living expenses after a key aged care taskforce reached broad consensus on the policy change. Source: The Australian.

It also agreed all aged care policy should start from the perspective that Australians are supported to stay in their own homes for as long as they possibly can.

The taskforce, announced by Aged Care Minister Anika Wells in June, met for the first time in Adelaide on Tuesday to discuss a raft of policy issues, foremost among them how to ensure adequate funding for the growing cohort of older Australians who require support either in-home or in a residential aged care facility.

Ms Wells, who chaired the meeting, said no final decisions were made on the future funding arrangements for aged care but a range of options was discussed.

She said the starting point for discussion was a change of perspective on aged care policy to a “rights-based” approach, with the taskforce setting out several policy principles.

Ms Wells said adequate funding of aged care was high on the taskforce’s agenda.

While the taskforce’s discussions were confidential, it is understood there was consensus that future funding arrangements must incorporate a greater personal contribution from older Australians if they could afford to.

While the direct care component of a person’s aged care would remain fully government-funded, it is understood the meeting accepted the need to change arrangements regarding the cost of day-to-day services such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling.

The taskforce will provide an interim report in October and a final report by the end of the year.


Aged care taskforce recommends wealthy nursing home residents fund more of their own care (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)