Release of draft Productivity Commission report on Caring for Older Australians
21 January, 2011
Alzheimer's Australia's response to the draft report Caring for Older Australians
Productivity Commission have listened to consumers
Alzheimer’s Australia, in welcoming the Interim report of the Productivity Commission on Caring for Older Australians, said that the recommendations responded to consumer demands for the reform of aged care and for greater choice in the delivery of aged care services.
"These recommendations open the door for a new system in which people have choice and funding is transparent and sustainable," said Glenn Rees, CEO, Alzheimer’s Australia.
"There is a need to build a greater understanding in the wider community about the need for comprehensive reform of aged care on the basis of the analysis and recommendations proposed in the Commission’s Interim Report".
The key elements of the recommendations from a consumer perspective were:
- Greatly expanded access to services based on an assessed entitlement to services
- Greater emphasis on community care
- Better access to information for consumers
- Models of consumer directed care that empowers older people and their family carers to decide when, where and how the services they need will be delivered
"The critical element of the report was for the new system to be underpinned by an entitlement approach which if implemented would ensure that a person assessed as having a need would have access to care. Currently older people and their family carers are confronted by a system that is heavily rationed and involves significant delays in accessing a community care package or residential care.
"Alzheimer's Australia welcomes the emphasis on careful transition in the report as consumers could be open to exploitation rather than choice if the market was freed up before there was adequate supply of care."
Alzheimer’s Australia also welcomed the recognition of the special needs of people with dementia in the report and is encouraged by the Productivity Commission’s consideration of a new assessment model which includes additional funding for care for individuals with dementia regardless of their physical health or where they receive care.
"The extra costs of caring for someone with dementia at all stages of the disease process needs to be recognised in the funding arrangements developed in the final report.
"Dementia is one of the major triggers for access to residential care and if the extra costs and carer stress of caring for people with dementia at home is not addressed the policy objective of enabling them to stay at home longer will not be achieved.
"Already the majority of people in residential care have dementia".
For interviews with Glenn Rees, please contact Tegan McGrath on 02 6278 8924 or 0407 232 212.
Download a copy of the media release (PDF)
For more information on the Productivity Commission's draft report, Caring for Older Australians please visit Productivity Commission's website.