Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

$240 million to help older Australians live at home longer

Thousands of older Australians will get extra support and care services–such as cleaning, meals, nursing care and transport–to remain living independently at home thanks to a $240 million Australian Government investment.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield said the extra Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) funding will be shared by 331 new and existing service providers, following a competitive tender process.

“The Australian Government believes that older Australians should have the support and care they need to continue to live at home for as long as they choose,” Senator Fifield said.

“The Commonwealth HACC program provides critical basic maintenance, support and care services where most people prefer to receive them–in their own homes and communities.

“This support includes personal care, domestic assistance, meals, nursing care, social support and transport, as well as respite services for carers of older Australians–without which many people wouldn’t be able to remain living independently.

“These are all essential to older people staying safe and well, and remaining connected to their community and in control of their own lives.”

Senator Fifield said that funding had been allocated in a way that helped ensure people had access to the support they need the most.

“We have made sure that a large portion of the funding is going to services that meet each region’s most pressing needs,” Senator Fifield said.

“The successful applicants will provide a variety of services to many locations and people.”

On 1 July 2012, the Australian Government assumed full funding, policy and operational responsibility for HACC services for older Australians in all states and territories except Victoria and Western Australia.

This is the first round of funding for services under the Commonwealth Home and Community Care program.