Older Australians opting for in-home care over nursing homes

May 19, 2017

Eighty-one-year-old David Apps has met a few celebrities in his time.

Key points:

  • Five years ago Mr Apps suffered a serious fall and became reliant on aged care

  • Mr Apps, is part of a growing number of older Australians who are opting to receive care at home, rather than in nursing homes

  • The Federal Government has restructured aged care funding — now also allocating home care packages to individuals

At one stage, the former booking manager counted Dusty Springfield, The Searchers and The Hollies among his clients.

His contact book even included the Rolling Stones.

Since the 1990s, Mr Apps lived in Kinross, north of Perth, having moved from England to be closer to his family.

But his life changed abruptly five years ago when a serious fall left him unable to walk and reliant on his wife Jane and aged care provider Brightwater Care Group.

"They basically get me showered, shaved, dressed and ready to face the day … without [the care], I don't think it'd be a life," Mr Apps said.

Mr Apps is one of a growing number of older Australians who are receiving care at home, rather than in nursing homes.

Brightwater Care Group has 800 residents in traditional care in Western Australia and another 1,000 clients in community care.

The group's chief executive Jennifer Lawrence says most people with high-care needs who remain living at home have a partner or family member as a primary carer.

"We can provide equipment, we can provide advice and training for those primary carers," Ms Lawrence said.

"The type of care that we're providing at home is anything from just helping people with shopping, you know, lawn-mowing and house cleaning to really high-care type of support."

Funding changes drive 'consumer-directed' care

While consumers are demanding more flexible services, structural reforms are forcing aged care providers to change the way they operate.

In February, the Federal Government restructured aged care funding, allocating home care packages to individuals rather than aged care providers.

 

Read more at http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-20/growing-older-at-home-cheaper-more-popular/8543848?pfmredir=sm

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