The federal Home Care Packages Program is meant to help the elderly live independently in their own homes.
The federal Home Care Packages Program is meant to help the elderly live independently in their own homes.

Nearly 800 in CQ left waiting for aged care at home

Nearly 800 Central Queenslanders are on the Federal Government's aged care waiting list, including 570 deemed to need the two highest levels of care offered.

The federal Home Care Packages Program is meant to help older Australians who want to continue to live independently in their own homes.

In a recent Senate Community Affairs Committee Question on Notice, it was revealed that as of September 30 last year, 797 people in Rockhampton, Gladstone, and the Central Highlands had been approved for Home Care, but had not received the appropriate help.

In comparison, the Mackay region had 199 people on its waiting list.

The total in Queensland was 15,126 of 99,268 across the country at the time, though by October 27, the national total had dropped to 98,340.

Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt said that leaving people without adequate care was "a disaster waiting to happen" and the Federal Government should act in accordance with the Aged Care Royal Commission's recommendations.

"We know that older Australians prefer to stay at home and the Federal Government needs to have a solution to deal with demand," he said.

"It's incredibly frustrating that we are still waiting to see the Morrison Government take any action whatsoever on the Aged Care Royal Commission's interim recommendation, which called for it to fix the home care waiting list. That recommendation was handed down back in October 2019 - nearly 18 months ago.

"It's clear the issue is not being taken seriously, because the number of Australians waiting for Home Care packages has barely changed in more than two years.

"This failure means Central Queenslanders and their families can't plan for the future."

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the Federal Government was committed to reducing the home care waiting list as quickly as possible.

"Importantly, no one is expected to wait without any care," she said.

"In fact, 99 per cent of people waiting for a high level support have been offered a form of Commonwealth support (CHSP or a lower package) while they wait.

"Since the 2018-19 Budget the Government has now invested a record $5.5 billion in new funding to deliver more than 85,000 HCPs.

"Labor has provided nothing but spin and rhetoric when it comes to delivering measures to support older Australians.

"It went to the 2019 election with over $387 billion in new taxes, but did not prioritise aged care.

"It committed no additional funding in their costings for additional home care places or any additional funding for aged care quality, workforce or mainstream residential aged care."