News & Events

Change aged care funding – OCAV

February 27, 2019

OCAV says changes to aged care funding are essential to drive best practice and to plan better for the future.

The call was made in its submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Shaaron Robilliard, Director of Nursing, said: “Current funding is modelled on the needs of a low care aged care resident, a concept which is long gone.”

“This is due to changing future demographics, and current government policy of wanting consumers to ‘age in place’, in their own home, which results in more consumers entering aged care facilities often with high risk and high care needs, and too late.”

She added that the impact for aged care facilities is that they are not being recompensed properly.

“We are becoming more like hospitals every day, and funding needs to take account of this reality,” she said.

Additional investment into the aged care sector should also include access to funding to advance small and large scale innovation, OCAV urges.

“Many of the innovations that we have put in place are funded by us or through philanthropy grants and research partnerships. While this is appropriate at a trial stage, it often means that innovations cannot be scaled up or embedded effectively over time because of a lack of funds,” Ms Robilliard said.

OCAV also advocates for more funding to manage dementia at all stages to enable providers to keep pace with the reality of dementia. This includes funding for training staff and volunteers, as well as promoting and funding dementia-friendly innovation.

“Everyone needs to understand what dementia is and how to support people with dementia. Becoming a more ‘dementia- friendly’ nation will improve the quality of care and safety offered to consumers, and support to their family, friends and guardians by aged care providers,” Ms Robilliard said.
“There is a trend towards funding to build dementia-specific aged care facilities which we believe will result in ghettos and increasing ageism,” she added.

“Instead what is need is funding for aged care facilities to upgrade and modify buildings to become dementia-friendly, to provide education for all staff, volunteers, families and interested consumers, and to introduce innovative programs and practices that support consumers at whatever dementia stage they are at.”

She said the Commissioners had an important part to play in helping to define the kind of care that is needed for the future, and to clarify how the current funding model needs to change to address these questions.

"There is nothing I would change that would make my life any better. I have two loving sons and family and I thank God every day that OCAV took me in when I had nothing," said Jill Dale, Braeside Park resident.

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