Report – Systematic underfunding and indifference to elderly in care continues

After almost five years out of active employment in the aged care sector, I am still contributing to thought leadership around where the sector might head as the future opens before us.  The Report is crafted in the silence of waiting for an Australian Government response to the Recommendations from the Aged Care Taskforce and further drafting of a new Australian Aged Care Act due to take effect from 1 July 2025.

The Report can be found here.

This Report provides some historical context of aged care in Australia, including remnant policy influence crafted in the mid 1900s.  The Report describes in some detail some of the funding challenges that residential aged care providers face, and the challenges for home care services to respond to the need to keep people out of residential aged care. 

The underfunding and debt challenges of residential care that were described in detail by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety have persisted, along with evidence of inadequate governance, continuing serious incidents and substandard care, and system reviews that offer inconsistent and untimely solutions to an Australian problem of how to care for our elders.  The continuing silence around a broad response to the Aged Care Taskforce is indicative of the perpetual kicking of the aged care can down the road for others to deal with.

With both aged care and the NDIS there is a sleeping giant of long term affordability, the use and value of taxation to fund systems, and whether Australia can afford to not demand more in terms of payment from those that use the respective systems.

I have outlined sixteen recommendations for urgent action in the sector, including the trial transfer and AN-ACC funding of vacant residential aged care places to the home care package segment of the aged care sector, and, echoing a 2020 Gratton Institute report,  recommending a major trial of alternate payment of accommodation costs in two States.