Hervey Bay doctor applauds aged care reforms
NEW aged care reforms have been applauded by Fraser Coast doctor Shaun Rudd as an important step forward, with a new focus on elderly people living at home longer.
The Federal Government's Living Longer, Living Better aged care reforms will increase home care packages for elderly people from 60,000 to 100,000 over the next five years, an announcement that was particularly important for an area with an aging demographic such as the Fraser Coast, Dr Rudd said.
He said for most elderly people, it was preferable to live at home - and most would rather live out their lives in their home rather than be living at an aged care facility, he said.
"It's an absolutely great idea," Dr Rudd said.
In addition to taking the strain off the aged care facilities, and in particular acute care, Dr Rudd said staying in the own home also helped elderly people, many of whom suffered from mild to severe dementia, to remain familiar with their surroundings.
"One problem with getting older is that we become a bit more confused," Dr Rudd said.
"When elderly people remain in their homes, they know where the kitchen is, they know where the bathroom is."
He said elderly people who received care at home had higher quality of life and it was also a safer place for them as there was a lower chance of contracting infections.
Aged care reforms
- The Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms will receive funding of $3.7 billion
- An extra $80 million will increase the number of Home Care packages from 60,000 to 100,000 over the next five years
- An extra $285 million will fund new dementia and veterans supplements for an estimated 24,000 Australians with dementia and veterans with mental health conditions
- Almost 300,000 Australians live with dementia and that figure is expected to increase to 900,000 by 2050