Aged Care – The NDIS Debate

Aged Care and those over 65 are currently excluded from the NDIS if applying after turning 65yo.  Anyone from that age must go through the My Aged Care scheme regardless of a diagnosed disability.

Currently of the 4.4 million people with a disability in Australia, 1.9 million are aged 65 and over. Within the Aged Care system, a prevalent option participants are given is a Home Care package which is on the lower end of the monetary spectrum in value when compared to NDIS packages and lacking in access to disability specific supports that are required by its participants.

In theory between NDIS and My Aged Care we are functioning out of two different pools of funding, effectively divided and defined by age, the arbitrary line in the sand exists, regardless of disability status or level of needs.

The argument of what should come from which funding should become redundant, given each Australian has a right to disability support and access as identified by Developing Australian Communities Director and Co-founder, Mr River Night, on ABC Sunshine Coast mornings with Alex Easton this week.

This issue of funding support for carers or individuals becomes specifically prevalent when we look at ageing carers and the reality of carer Burn-out. When aged carers are no longer able to support a loved one it is assumed through My Aged Care the care recipient will then stay at home with very little funding and eventually move into full-time care or move into full-time Residential Care as a first option. There needs to be an in-between option, where we can keep people at home and enjoy independence with the assistance of services that will alleviate pressure from the carer at a level that is appropriate.

Maintaining two funding buckets federally is not financially viable long term when you consider at 65, moving into Residential care is expensive and most in the considered age bracket live in a low income household, or they are forced to stay at home with little funding or access to services. When the stay at home support isn’t enough that it forces early entry to Residential Care we are choosing a more expensive option as the default.

“We save when we don’t run two Federal Departments and double up without good reason and we save when we invest more in keeping people independent at home,” River said.

Developing Australian Communities is delivering the largest disability and NDIS related expos Australia has ever seen in 2023. We welcome visitors of all ages regardless of age or funding model as many service providers provide both disability and community service options.
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