by Alan Thornhill
Community care programs have been identified as good investments for Australia’s taxpayers.
This was confirmed in a new study that the Federal Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliott, released yesterday.
It showed that these programs:-
- help to preserve the physical and mental y health of older Australians
- increase “cognitive function” and help to sustain social networks
- reduce the strains on those caring for older relatives.
The study was initiated by the Baptist organisation Baptcare and carried out by Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Mediciine.
Mrs Elliott said Federally funded community aged care packages and extended aged care home packages often delayed admission to residential aged care.
In that way, they help old people to maintain independence and to continue living in their communities.
“These packges generally allow care recipients to maintain their quality of life and, in some instances, as this study shows, improve their quality of life,” Mrs Elliott said.
She said the need for such packages would increase as the Australian community ages.
“So it is vital that we have evidence like this study to ensure that we are supporting best practice in community care,” Mrs Elliott added.
She noted that the government has budgeted to provide $2.2 billion, over four years, for community care services.
“In 2008-09 alone, we will be providing $2.2 billion to community care,” Mrs Elliott said.
She said this represents an increase of $260 million, over the 2007-08 budget figure.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Monday May 20
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