Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, says the home care sector is working closely with Government and consumer groups to effectively meet the needs of older Australians requiring care in their homes.
CEO Sean Rooney says the sector is committed to realising the ‘ageing in place’ reform agenda, which is aimed at better supporting older Australians who choose to age in their homes and local communities.
“The home care system is being challenged by the implementation of significant changes, whilst also straining to keep up with growing demand, but overall it is meeting the needs of those receiving care at home.
“Yesterday there was media coverage of a small, qualitative study of 40 home care package recipients that is not meant to be generalised to the 90,000 people currently receiving home care.
“A more robust picture of home care performance is provided by looking at a range of other satisfaction surveys which find around 80 to 90 per cent of people are satisfied, including a 2017 qualitative study commissioned by the Department of Health and an earlier Australian Bureau of Statistics survey.
“Notwithstanding this, LASA recognises that some issues, such as variations of some home care prices – particularly administration fees and case management fees – are often a concern for consumers. These charges reflect the administration and case management costs associated with managing complex client needs.
“However, if a home care client has any concerns with any element of the services received, or the prices charged, they should discuss this directly with their home care package provider.
“Under the Aged Care Quality Standards, home care providers must have in place processes for addressing consumer concerns, and where consumers believe that this does not deliver a satisfactory result, they can also raise their concerns with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
“A key component of the recent home care reforms is that consumers can also exercise their right to switch providers if they so choose.
At the system level, Mr Rooney said that since deregulation, the home care program is asking older people seeking services, and organisations providing services, to do things differently.
“As such, the system is dynamic as it seeks to meet the needs of over 120,000 older Australians on the national home care queue, whilst enabling older Australians to make informed choices about the services they require. All the while providers of home care services are under growing pressure due to increased competition, and funding provided not keeping pace with costs.
Mr Rooney said that ensuring that all home care program providers deliver quality services and value to older Australians, with no exceptions, is a priority for our sector.
“LASA welcomes the fact that the upcoming hearings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will focus on home care.
“We fully support this Royal Commission as an opportunity for this country to build a better system to support the growing numbers of older Australians.”
Yesterday’s statement by LASA in response to concerns about home care incorrectly stated that COTA’s 2018 State of the (older) Nation Survey had 1,134 responses to its question on satisfaction with home care services. However, this was actually the number of people who responded to the question about whether they accessed home care and support services. In this survey, 94 people answered the question about satisfaction, and the survey report advised these numbers were not sufficient to draw conclusions from. Nevertheless COTA results are consistent with other surveys, including a survey of 75,000 people conducted by the ABS in 2015 as quoted by the Productivity Commission Report on Government Services (p. 14.21) . LASA has amended the statement and apologises for any concerns and inconvenience caused.
About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)
LASA is the national peak body representing and supporting providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living. Our purpose is to enable a high performing, respected, and sustainable age services industry delivering accessible, affordable, quality care and services for older Australians.
We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 57% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 33% are for-profit providers and 10% are government providers.
Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.
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