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Aged Care reform « Previous | |Next »
August 9, 2011

The Productivity Commission's final report on aged care--- Caring for Older Australians-- was presented to the government yesterday. the The need for fundamental and wide-ranging reform has been identified in the 2004 Hogan Review, the 2009 National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission Report, the 2010 Henry Review, and the Productivity's Commission’s previous reports.

It is designed to overcome the inequities, rationing, over-regulation, and variable quality of current arrangements, as well as to provide a sustainable funding basis. The funding recommendation is that Australians should be responsible for accommodation costs whether they live in their own home, a retirement village, or in residential aged care unless they have low incomes. Currently most people in nursing homes pay a low, capped accommodation charge that does not approximate the cost.

It encourages people to stay in their homes as long as possible. Once residential care is a necessity, it says people can still sell their homes and pay a bond or periodic payments if they wish, although the bond would reflect the quality of care. It suggests two other options.

The elderly would have access to a government-backed aged-care home credit scheme to borrow against the value of their house with an interest rate indexed to inflation. The borrowings could be spent only on aged-care costs, either community or residential care. When the person dies, the house would be sold to repay the money to the government and the rest returned to the estate. There would be a borrowing limit to prevent the estate owing more than the house was worth. Once the borrower reached that limit, the government would take over the costs.

The other option allows pensioners to sell their house, bank the proceeds in a government-backed age pensioners savings account, and still receive the aged pension.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:56 PM | | Comments (1)


As an otgenarian my wife and I are fortunate to be able to fend for ourselves, and intend to remain independent as long as possible. The present objectives for persons needing care are a great improvement since the 80's when an elderly relative had to be placed in a home