Funding boost for Home and Community Care inside the ACT

16 April, 2009

The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, and the ACT Minister for Ageing, John Hargreaves have recently announced a $6.6 million funding increase over three years for Home and Community Care (HACC) services in the ACT.

This brings the total funding to $86.17 million over the next three years. In 2008-09 alone, HACC funding has increased by $2 million. (This includes indexation of almost $1 million from both the Australian and ACT Governments).

HACC delivers affordable and accessible care to help meet the individual needs of older people, and their carers.

This includes help with household chores, home maintenance and modification, transport, meals, personal care and allied health and nursing care.

The increase – of almost nine per cent over three years – is part of a new Home and Community Care plan agreed on by the Australian and ACT Governments last week.

HACC is a joint Australian and ACT Government initiative that helps frail older people, younger people with a disability and their carers – by providing them with support to help them remain independent and in their own homes.

Elliot said: “We are constantly reminded that as people age they want to remain independent and in their own homes and communities. Without Home and Community Care services many people would have to move prematurely into residential care.”

Hargreaves said last year in the ACT more than 10,000 people were helped through HACC services.

“This funding boost will be directed into areas such as social support, transport, centre-based day care, domestic assistance, nursing and personal care across the ACT.

“It will benefit older and disabled people in our community who require some assistance with everyday living,” Hargreaves said.

Specific examples of funding allocations in 2008-09 include:

  • $62,883 for the Australian Red Cross Personal Alarm and Home Safety Services, providing 24-hour emergency support for indigenous clients and people with dementia;
  • $111,500 for the Belconnen Community Service to expand community transport services;
  • $38,705 for the Gungahlin Regional Community Service to expand community transport for health and other appointments as well as social activities;
  • $124,242 for the Home Help Service to expand personal care assistance and home modifications to assist people to continue to live and move safely in their homes;
  • $188,047 to the Northside Community Service to expand community transport, domestic assistance and client care coordination;
  • $110,500 for the Southside Community service to expand a range of HACC services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and
  • $152,777 for the Woden Community Service to expand case management, domestic assistance, social support and community transport services
The ACT government has also allocated unused funding of $1.3 million from 2007-2008.

Ageing in the ACT

Overall, as a jurisdiction, the ACT has the highest life expectancy in Australia for both men and women at 80 and 83.9 years, respectively.

Currently, the ACT has 22,533 people over the age of 70, comprising 6.6 per cent of its population and that is expected to almost double to 40,235 by 2020, comprising 10.3 per cent of the population.