There have been many changes to home care in the past year. In February, the Government introduced the “Increasing Choice in Home Care” where the health department released more than 22,000 packages to people who were eligible.

What this reform did was make home care packages more consumer controlled, allowing the person to be able to choose which organisation will provide which services for them.

However, these new reforms have come with some challenges that are yet to be overcome.

One issue has been the lack of communication between the federal government and the people the services are meant to help.

Another challenge saw that with the introductions of this new system, many older people and their families have found navigating these new reforms rather difficult, especially with confusing or inadequate information on the government’s My Aged Care.

The combat this, the Turnbull Government has released a public discussion paper to help inform future care at home reforms.

Consultation begins today and will be open to any feedback for six weeks until 21 August 2017.

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt says that older Australians want better choices and improved access to services to help them continue to live active and healthy lives in their own homes and communities.

“The reforms the Australian Government has introduced in recent years aim to put consumers in control of their care. The goal is a more consumer driven, market-based and nationally consistent system – one that is fair and supports older Australians,” Minister Wyatt says.

“For the first time, funding for home care follows the consumer, not the provider. There is now also a consistent, national process for prioritising the provision of home care to ensure fairer and more equitable access, regardless of where people live.”

Minister Wyatt said that before making decisions on further reforms, the Government wanted to hear the views of the sector and the community.

“While future reforms may include changes to the existing home support and home care arrangements, no decisions have been made. The Turnbull Government is committed to open and transparent consultation on the best way forward,” he says.

“The paper I have released today seeks input on how any future aged care reforms can best help older Australians to live at home. The policy objectives and reform options in the paper have been developed in response to what we have heard from the sector.”

They welcome any feedback on the Increasing Choice in Home Care changes, and ensure that the feedback will be used to inform Government decisions on an integrated care at home program.

If you, or someone you know, would like to submit feedback regarding their experiences with home care reforms, submit them HERE or email agedcarereformenquiries@health.gov.au

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