OLDER Australians needing home-based care will face means-testing for the first time in two months.

Every Australian requiring in home care will have their income assessed and service providers will also be put under the microscope as never before.

Brisbane business couple Martin and Sarah Warner opened the first Home Instead Senior Care office in Australia in 2005 response to the demands of the rapidly increasing growth in Australia's ageing population.

The Warners took the decision to bring Home Instead to Australia as a direct personal consequence of a need for services for their own parents.

Managing Director Martin Warner says Australians need to know the changes are coming and start planning now.

The changes are part of a series of recommendations from the Federal Government's Productivity Commission which come into effect on July 1

"As well as means testing, and improved accountability with service providers having to produce transparent home care budgets, the changes will also give older Australians a greater say over who cares for them how and when," Mr Warner said.

"We understand how strongly people feel about wanting to remain in their own homes and we do everything we can to keep them there.."

"Home Instead provides care to older Australians in all states, whether it be for 1 hour or 24 hours and with means testing being introduced it is more important than ever that people know they have choice.

"There is a growing demand for quality and reputable in-home assistance to support older people so they can remain independent and retain their quality of life for as long as possible," he said.

With the changes coming this July there is confusion in the industry and amongst consumers about how these changes will affect home care services and what costs will now be passed onto the consumer.

The key changes to be introduced from 1st July this year include:

  • the means testing of eligibility for home care services based on a person's income.
  • the introduction of individual and transparent home care budgets
  • the introduction of greater choice and control for older people about the type of home care   
  • and services they receive.

This consumer directed care (CDC) model will provide consumers with a greater choice of services, flexibility and more control over when and where their home care services are provided.  

More information on the Living Longer, Living Better program

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