As anticipated, last night’s Federal budget delivered a welcome focus on the needs of Older Australians looking to continue living productive, healthy lives in their own home.

The key take out from the budget for Older Australians living independently is the introduction of 14,000 new home care packages aimed at people with higher care needs (in addition to the 6,000 released in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook). By 2021-2022 there will be 74,000 high level home care packages available – an 86% increase on 2017-18.  This will cost $1.6B over 4 years.

There is also additional funding put aside to focus on mental health issues for older Australians and opportunities for pensioners to earn more from part time or casual employment without affecting their pension payments.

If you or a loved one have a Home Care Package, it is really important to remember that the funding is yours. The Care Provider you choose should be working with you to tailor a plan that meets your goals and enables you to live the life you want. You should also ensure that as much of the funding as possible is directed toward the help and care you need. The Five Good Friends model is designed to deliver up to 50% more hours of help in the home than traditional providers, so you can continue to live connected to the friends, community and life you love.

Detailed breakdowns on the Budget can be found:

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