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New report outlines residential aged care funding reform options

The release of a new report into aged care funding highlights a range of options to modify Australia’s residential care funding instrument.   
 
Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) would inform the Turnbull Government’s continuing aged care reforms.
 
“We are determined to put residential care funding on a more consistent, sustainable and equitable footing,” said Minister Wyatt.
 
“The Commonwealth currently contributes a record $18.6 billion per year to aged care and by 2020-21 this is expected to reach more than $22 billion.
 
“We are committed to a system centred on safe, quality care for our older Australians, while ensuring expenditure is affordable for consumers and sustainable for taxpayers.” 
 
The report, prepared by Applied Aged Care Solutions, undertook a comprehensive review of ACFI, focusing on ways to improve the current tool, including adapting it for external assessments of funding needs and updating it to bring it into line with current care practices.
 
“We welcome the new report on residential aged care funding reform, which adds to the options provided in a recent University of Wollongong report,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
The Government-commissioned study was released in April this year, outlining a variety of potential new funding models and tools for the aged care sector. 
 
Minister Wyatt said no decisions had been made, with the next step in the long-term reform process a Resource Utilisation and Classification Study, now underway at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute.
 
This study is investigating the drivers of residential care costs, according to location and the varying needs of individuals in care.
 
“We will continue to monitor use of the existing Aged Care Funding Instrument to ensure expenditure remains under control, while maintaining quality care,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“We are equally committed to continue working with the community and the aged care sector to get these reforms right.”
 
The report is available on the Department of Health’s website.
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Victorian seniors to travel free during seniors week

Victorian Seniors Card holders can enjoy complimentary travel from October 8 to 15 as part of the 35th Victorian Seniors Festival.

This is the first year where the eight days of free public transport has been extended to V/Line travel, in addition to all other metropolitan and regional services.

The free travel applies to Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses and regional trains, coaches and buses.

Seniors will need to carry their Seniors myki and Victorian Seniors Card with them and touch on and off as usual.

Seniors will not be charged during the eight days of free public transport.

About 140000 older Victorians are expected to attend the 1500 events and activities, which will be statewide for seniors to enjoy with family and friends.

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Thousands of seniors get back pension card in Federal backflip.

About 92,000 part-rate pensioners lost access to the card in January, which helps with some living costs, as the Federal Government slashed pensions for moderately well-heeled retirees.

But those who were booted off the age pension on January 1 will get a new Pension Concession Card in the next two weeks.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the change would hand back access to a range of State, local government and private sector discounts.

“The January reforms to the assets test were a crucial step in ensuring that our pension system remains sustainable and affordable for future generations,” Mr Porter said.
“In reinstating the PCC, the Turnbull Government is ensuring that these 90,000 former part-pensioners will be able to access those benefits again.”

Part-pensioners were the biggest losers from the assets test changes, which some labelled a “wealth tax” on ordinary retirees.

The decision in the May Budget to reinstate the Pension Concession Card goes a small way to compensating them.

At the time, shadow social services minister Jenny Macklin called the $3 million move an “embarrassing backflip”.

The Department of Human Services will automatically reissue the new cards, meaning those who lost access in January do not need to act to receive theirs.

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As Australia heads to a survey on Equality...

The marriage Equality debate has ignited in Australia as the country lags behind the rest of the western world in making equality happen. The debate and so called discussion has brought out some interesting reactions. 

The debate and so called discussion has brought out some interesting reactions. 

The normally flamboyant and over the top LGBTQI community (think glitter and marching groups) are being incredibly more sophisticated and grown up than the so called "Australian Christian Lobby" who are acting NOTHING like Christians.

It gives you hope that a cohesive and united Australia is how we work best.

When fringe elements from any side get a hold of an issue - it always turns ridiculous and turns people off... so why bring it up? Because it takes the middle folk - us - so called "normal" people to want to make the difference. We can't rely on politicians to do the job (thus the postal "survey") and these ads are just highlighting the ridiculousness of the argument that some are putting forward. It's hard to believe an ad from the ACL that includes "actors" - sorry - talking heads, that are paid employees of the company that produced the advert. We - the masses - need to actually stand up and say something - it may not affect us directly, but somewhere down the line it does. We can't be complacent. We can't think our elected officials would do it anymore - we need to actually get up and go and help someone who needs our help.

A large group of conservative politicians are voting Yes, and have formed a "group" to show their support of equality. Lead by the president of the Federal Liberal party no less. The Prime Minister is in favour, the only hold out is EX Prime Minister and the member for Warringah, Tony Abbott - who's personal views outshine his constituents. So he is going to vote against the wishes of his electorate.... that's just what you need in a politician - a self-serving, self-appointed, view in the parliament. 

You might think us biased... well, kinda - we do think ALL Australians should be treated equally. So yes, in that way we are...  as the anthem says - For we are young and free...

We also take issue with the fact we are spending a HUGE amount of money on a survey, when it was Prime Minister John Howard's government that actually changed the Marriage Act to EXCLUDE same sex couples only a few years ago...  and they did it without an expensive survey or asking fellow Australians to judge other Australians... 

It's time to just get on with it, change it BACK and make ALL Australian's equal. It's not going to hurt anyone - it's not going to impede on religious freedom and all it will do is strengthen our democracy.

We - along with 89% of our readers (from a recent survey) - will be voting YES to equality.

 

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$3.7m in additional support to improve indigenous aged care services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in aged care in regional, rural and remote communities will benefit from more than $3.7 million in one-off grants. 
 
The grants, in response to funding applications, are provided to aged care services across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.  
 
Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said the grants, under the Australian Government’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP), were in addition to the $33.5 million the program provides annually for service delivery.
 
“The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program is designed specifically to improve services to elderly indigenous people, mainly in remote locations,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“These grants will provide practical assistance to 18 aged care providers to improve the lives of their elderly care residents.
 
“They will ensure that buildings are appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural activities, customs, ceremonies and family visits.” 
 
The grants also give providers an opportunity to refurbish or upgrade living spaces for clients or staff, buy a range of necessary equipment for kitchens or laundries, and to fulfil medical or security requirements.
 
“The Government’s reform vision is to deliver integrated aged care services not only to major centres, but also to small regional and remote communities,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“We want aged care that is flexible, non-discriminatory and culturally appropriate, no matter where people live, and inclusive of elderly Indigenous Australians who are among our most vulnerable citizens.” 
 
Recipients of NATSIFACP funding include:
  • Wami Kata Old Folks Home Inc. Port Augusta
  • Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
  • Ngaanyatjarra Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
  • Pintupi Homelands 2016-17
  • Calvary Community Care, Bathurst Island
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Council
  • Injilinji Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corp for Children & Youth Aboriginal Community Elders Service Inc. Brunswick
  • Uniting Church Homes Guwardi Ngadu Frail Aged Hostel Fitzroy Crossing Mabuji Aboriginal Resource Aboriginal Corporation Borroloola
  • Tullawon Health Service Inc Yalata.
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Only a few weeks left to nominate your local Volunteers

The recent Queen’s Birthday honours list was a distinguished list of local heroes and national figures. Now is your chance to acknowledge those among us who keep our society ticking.


In other words - volunteers – the one in four Australians who serve the community for no financial gain or personal acclaim.


While some of Australia’s rewards systems might seem out of step with Australia’s egalitarian ethos – there is an awards program that does recognise and honour those amongst us who serve a higher purpose: The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is now in its 11th year and throughout that time it has upheld and provided a public platform to recognise the endeavours of thousands of ‘ordinary’ – and frankly not so ordinary, volunteers amongst us.


“Everyone who is nominated gets to have their moment in the spotlight where their efforts are recognised with a certificate and in the company of other volunteers and community representatives,” said Gemma Rygate, the CEO of the Centre for Volunteering.


“But they won’t be standing there if somebody doesn’t nominate them. Look around your community, your club, your school, hospital, sporting group – we are surrounded by inspiring volunteers.


“Don’t overlook individuals who help others outside of formal volunteering organisations – they may not even consider themselves a volunteer – but if they are doing something for another person beyond their immediate family, then they are indeed a true volunteer and very worthy of recognition,” Ms Rygate said.


Last year more than 100,000 people were recognised for their volunteering efforts in the Volunteer of the Year Awards and this year The Centre for Volunteering looks forward to receiving more nominations from grateful communities, organisations and individuals.

The deadline for nominations is Friday July 14. Nominations for Volunteer of the Year can be made online at www.volunteering.com.au.


There are 7 award categories

Young (24 years and under)
Adult (25 to 64)
Senior (65+)
Corporate Volunteer (Individual)
Corporate Volunteer Team
Volunteer Team
Excellence in Volunteer Management
www.volunteering.com.au/volunteer-awards/nomination

For more information about more about the 2017 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards and last year’s winners, go to www.volunteering.com.au/volunteer-awards/

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Nominations open for NSW Volunteer Of The Year

Nominations are now open for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Do you know someone special in your community that has contributed their free time to local community groups, charities or organisations or individuals? Do they have a special story, or do you just want to celebrate their achievements?

There are regional ceremonies and winners all over NSW, then a state final - so lots of opportunities for your favourite Volunteer to be recognised.

Run by the Centre For Volunteering, NSW peak body for Volunteering services and supported by the State Government - this is THE awards to be a part of.

In 2017, there are 7 categories of awards:

Young- 24 years and under
Adult – 25 to 64 years
Senior – 65 years +
Volunteer Team
Excellence in Volunteer Management
Corporate Volunteer (Individual)
Corporate Volunteer Team

The winners of Youth, Adult and Senior categories will be eligible for the award of Volunteer of the Year.

You can submit your nominations online at www.volunteering.com.au

 

You can find other states and territories via the following link.

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