Submission to the Department of Health Discussion Paper: Future Reform – an integrated care at home program to support older people

COTA Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment of the Department of Health Discussion Paper “Future Reform – an integrated care at home program to support older people”.

COTA Australia has been at the forefront of advocating for a radically improved aged care system for older Australians prior to and throughout the reform processes. The melding of the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP) program is an essential step in a fully integrated consumer driven aged care sector. While COTA Australia understands the reasons for the extension of the timeframes to achieve this from mid-2018 to mid-2020, we remain concerned that this means that tens of thousands of older Australians will have to continue to live with less choice and control over their aged care than the government has agreed is optimal. COTA Australia urges the Government to increase the momentum of reforms necessary to deliver a fully consumer driven aged care system across the whole spectrum of support and care.

COTA Australia commends the continued focus on wellness and reablement. An aged care system that focuses on the strengths of consumers rather than deficits will deliver longer term benefits for older Australians, the community, and government.

COTA Australia is a strong advocate for the introduction of a suite of supports to assist consumers to navigate and manage their engagement with the aged care system, as outlined in the National Aged Care Alliance’s paper “Integrated Consumer Supports”, July 2017.