Around 72,000 people under Home Care Packages (HCP) in Australia will experience change in the way they receive their benefits come July 1st. A new program called Consumer Direct Care (CDC) will replace the current government funded stay-at-home care schemes for the elderly. Many Adelaide pensioners and seniors will be affected by the transition. As early as now, there are debates about whether this will make them better off or not. Are the Adelaide Elderly To Pay More For ‘Home Care Packages’?
The new scheme will allow recipients more control and options on their care packages. Under CDC, the recipients will be told how much their package is worth and it’s up to them to negotiate to their care providers for the type of service that they want.
There are some care providers who are already transitioning to CDC. Although the government has guaranteed that no one will be worse off under the scheme, some still have doubts whether this move will be good or bad for the finances and cash-flow of the elderly. Those who have experienced the transition have mixed reviews about this.
Generally, CDC is good because it gives you options and a lot of seniors feel a ‘personal involvement’ in getting aged care service. One can now arrange the timing of care with a provider and schedule it in a way that is most convenient for them and their family. If for example your wife will be out for a couple of days, you can bank hours by minimising the hours a week before and then ask the care provider to render more hours while your wife is away. The CDC scheme allows flexibility and the ability to discuss issues with the care provider and come up with solutions that are beneficial for the recipient.
On the other hand, the problem arises when it comes to the financial side. Admittedly, the government funding seems insufficient and groups like Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) believes that CDC has missed out one major concern: cross-subsidisation. In effect, those with lesser needs will have to ‘subsidise’ those who are in need of more intensive care.
This July, the funding will go directly to the recipients and it’s up to them how they will use it. There are some who complain that they are losing out on CDC. For instance, a 99-year old mother who recently transitioned to CDC can only afford 9.5 hours worth of home care, as opposed to the previous 19.5 hours she was getting under HCP. This 10-hour reduction will cost her and her family $1,500 a week and $78,000 a year if they want the same level of care the HCP gives.
For now, that family is left with no choice under the new scheme. Are they better off? Certainly not. Now they have to pull out their resources just to meet their mother’s aged care requirements. The daughter said that perhaps it’s time to sell some furniture.
If you are in Adelaide or SA and you think you need some advice about your aged care, please feel free to call Adelaide Aged Care Financial Advisers on 1300 422 232.