Correcting the record on Home Care Packages

Article published 3 December 2018

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“Claims in a media release by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt MP (Record Growth in Seniors Receiving Home Care Packages, 29 November 2018) are in need of correction”, said CPSA Policy Coordinator Paul Versteege.

The Minister claims that the “latest Home Care Packages program report shows increasing choice in home-based care for senior Australians, with almost 92,000 now receiving home aged care packages”.

“While this it true that there are now almost 92,000 Home Care Packages active, the number of people waiting on a Package for which they have been approved has also risen to a record number, 126,732, almost 127,000”, said Versteege.

The Minister claims that “during the September Quarter, 30,150 home care packages were released, an average of 2,320 per week”.

“Just to keep pace with new demand the average weekly release in September should have been 409 more packages, 2,729 to be precise. The waiting list for Home Care Packages grew by 5,314 in just one quarter. The Government’s commitment doesn’t present a plan to stop the horrendous blow-out in the waiting list, 4.4 per cent for the quarter, 13.6 per cent annualised”, said Versteege.

The Minister claims that “for the first time, detailed breakdowns on [sic] the support people receive while they are in the national prioritisation system are included in the report”.

“These are inadequate supports. Two-thirds of people (57,646) who have a package have a lower package than they need and a further 69,000 people have no package at all.  Their ‘supports’ are CHSP or a nursing home, for which 89,773 people (71 per cent of the overall waiting list, have a current approval. This means that if you need anything over and above help with showering, you’re more than likely going to end up in a nursing home”, said Versteege.

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