Statement from Tall Trees Director re: Federal Govt’s aged care announcement
Phil Usher, director and co-founder of private aged care provider Tall Trees, has congratulated the federal government on the aged care reforms it has announced today, but says he believes there is still a long way to go before publically funded services will cater to the full range of seniors’ needs.
“I honestly believe that resolving the current disparity in aged care in Australia is one of the most important issues our country faces,” he says.
“Absolutely, the $268.4 million over five years that’s being committed to dementia services is a truly worthy addition to aged care funding in Australia, and I’d like to see that figure increased in future.
“I do, however, feel that there is more work to be done by the government over and above the raft of measures they’ve announced.
“There is a heavy emphasis on providing additional in-home assistance to seniors, which will certainly be of significant benefit to many Australian seniors, particularly those that just need the occasional hand with household duties.
“Additionally, the increased flexibility in payment options for nursing home places is a welcome change to the traditional lump sum model utilised in public nursing home care.
“However, there is still a gap that this system creates, and it’s a gap populated by those who are between needing low, in home care, and those are largely bed ridden and need virtually round the clock assistance.
“Those who sit in the medium care bracket are being left behind, and will experience detriment if they try and stay in their own home or if they’re moved into a high care facility.
“Additionally, the emphasis on staying at home that’s central to these reforms may create a situation where seniors who should really be looking to for more comprehensive care options continue to live alone.
“When this happens, seniors often find themselves in crisis mode when a turn for the worse occurs.”
Part of the new guard of accommodation for seniors, Tall Trees provides customised care services for their residents whilst offering an environment that’s more like a village or private neighbourhood than an aged care facility.
All neighbourhoods are privately funded, and offer low to high and palliative care options that are delivered directly to resident’s self-contained apartments.
Mr Usher says his experience delivering all levels of care has demonstrated to him how broad seniors’ care requirements are.
“Effectively caring for the elderly requires a great deal of nuance, and I believe the government has to look at some other options if they’re going to provide the best for our seniors,” he says.
“It’s a step in the right direction, certainly, but more steps are needed.”