Government pledges to streamline aged care access
AGEING is inevitable. So deciding to access aged care should be one of the simplest choices older Australians can make.
That's the rally cry from the Australian Government after it was announced the bureaucratic path into aged care would be streamlined thanks to an $85 million investment.
Australia's population is continuing to age, with seniors now one of the major demographics in the country.
Accessing aged care has proven a confusing and problematic hurdle to overcome.
However, help is at hand with the Turnbull Government overhauling several services - including the means test and the My Aged Care portal - on the path towards aged care.
Human Services Minister Michael Keenan said a taskforce would investigate a means test that for too long has been a barrier between older Australians, including those with complex finances, and proper aged care.
"The current 28-page form can be challenging, so we plan to have major simplifications in place by May next year," said Minister Keenan.
"Led by the Department of Human Services, the taskforce will include representation from consumer groups, aged care providers, financial advisers and relevant government agencies."
Meanwhile, the My Aged Care portal will undergo a major facelift with $61.7 million injection upgrading services such as an improved website, more self-service options, a client journey dashboard and referrals system for health professionals.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the upgrade would benefit senior Australians, doctors and specialists.
"My Aged Care is a vital tool for older Australians and their families and carers, with more than 3.5 million website visits per year and over one million phone calls," said Minister Wyatt.
"It must be as easy to use as possible, providing people with the right information in a people-friendly format, during what are often challenging times.
"This will allow doctors and specialists to send referrals to My Aged Care directly from their clinical information systems, and to track the progress of their clients through My Aged Care."