Fact sheet: Supporting older Australians

Investing in safe and quality aged care

The Government, through the Budget, is guaranteeing the essential services to help older Australians access the care and support they need, whether they choose to live in their own homes for longer or need residential aged care.

In this Budget, the Government is committing record funding of $21.6 billion in 2019-20 to strengthen the safety, quality, access to, and integrity of Australia's aged care system.

Supporting choice for older Australians

The Government's Home Care Packages Program supports Australians who choose to receive care in their own homes. The Government is providing $282.4 million over five years from 2018-19 for an additional 10,000 home care packages across all levels.

This brings to 40,000 the number of additional home care packages the Government has delivered since the 2017-18 MYEFO. Between 30 June 2017 and 30 September 2018, 74 per cent more people accessed a high level package.

Australians with dementia or requiring cognition support will benefit from additional funding for home care supplements, and the Government is investing $7.7 million to develop an end-to-end compliance framework for home care.

Residential care safety and quality

The Government is also providing additional funding for residential aged care. An additional 13,500 residential care places will be available, combined with a $60 million investment in infrastructure.

To continue to support high-quality care for residents, the Government is providing a $320 million general subsidy for residential aged care and $8.4 million will be provided to introduce mandatory reporting against several national residential care quality indicators.

Protecting older Australians

As the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety goes about its critical work, the Government is taking immediate steps to reform aged care, such as establishing the independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019.

The Government has announced a National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians. The Plan includes $18 million to create a new National Hotline (1800 ELDERHelp or 1800 353 374) and conduct trials of frontline services for victims of abuse. The Government is also contributing $1.5 million towards developing a Serious Incident Response Scheme.

Research to support independent living and improve dementia care

Under its Medical Research Future Fund, the Government is providing $185 million (from 2018-19 to 2028-2029) to establish a Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission.

This funding will encourage researchers to focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dementia, fall prevention and assistive technologies to support independence.

Boosting access to Medicare and new medicines

The Government is committing record funding to health, with total spending expected to increase from $81.8 billion 2018-19 to $89.5 billion in 2022-23.

Medicare bulk billing rates are at record levels and the Government is providing $331 million over five years for new and amended PBS listings.

The Government is delivering a $1.1 billion 'Strengthening Primary Care' package, including $448.5 million to enhance the care and services GPs provide to high needs patients.