What does the 2021 Federal Budget allocate to Aged Care and Home Care?
- $17.7 billion for Aged Care improvements.
- $6.5 billion to deliver 80,000 Home Care Packages.
- Supporting seniors and people with disability.
- New funding to access assistive technology.
- Can staffing levels support the 2021 Federal Budget aged care funding?
- 5 times the amount of ageing in place compared to residential aged care.
- How can home assistive technology support aged care?
Watch the full 2021 Federal Budget Aged Care & Home Care Package Funding analysis.
Now let’s return to the Federal Budget, with the government pledging $17.7 billion for aged care improvements.
So let’s get the view from Jason Waller. He’s from InteliCare, chief executive. Joining us from Perth, Jason. Very good to talk to you this morning.
So of course you’re in the space of aged care. Tell us then what the government has proposed here, the benefits to the sector.
Well, the headline number for us is $6.5 billion to deliver 80,000 home care packages and home care packages fall right in InteliCare’s wheelhouse. Our technology is designed to help
people stay safe in their own home, whether they’re a senior or elderly person or someone with a disability. So this funding goes straight to being able to fund kind of assistive technology.
And in your mind is this enough what they proposed?
Well, I think it’s a great move forward, but there’s more to be done, and the critical question that’s left out is the structural issues around delivering on that funding.
Importantly, they’re designing a new home care package, so there’s now about $10.5 billion to do that which hopefully will allow assistive technology to have a greater role in helping people stay in their own home and increase the productivity of this sector where they fall dramatically short in staff numbers.
Yeah, I mean, you talk about staff numbers. So there’s more than $3 billion to cover, what is it, about $10 per person per day to increase that payment to aged care providers. So that’s clearly a positive. But once again, does it go far enough?
Yes, so that payment goes to residential aged care, what you might commonly call nursing homes. There are five times that number of people who age in place in their own home, and that’s where InteliCare plays. We provide smart technology to turn that home into a smart home. And then we use AI to help family and caregivers determine that something’s out of the ordinary. So they can tailor the care to that person, which is a much stronger preference, people to age in place in their own home, but also it takes the pain away from the residential sector, prevents people or at least delays their movement into a nursing home.
To feed the staff numbers into that, over one million people in home care. They’ve created 30,000 extra places and training. But they need about a million people to service the sector and I just don’t think we’ll get there anytime soon. Technology has to play a role.
So Jason, what’s a good balance in terms of where do you think we should be, as far as the number of people in home care as a proportion of the total?
I think we’re getting to that point about five times is right. But that’s about 1.2 million people. There’s another 3 to 4 million people over 65 who are coming down that pipeline. So I think over time we’re going to see that number need to increase. And as we’ve seen from the recent budget, there simply isn’t the capacity to make that demand without some form of levy. And the government is very reticent to do that because it’s a pandemic budget and they don’t want to put any stress on the economy. Hence, I think we’ll see families take a stronger role in looking after their elderly when they’re aging in place of your own home. And again, that’s what our app enables people to do.
And Jason, you posted some quarterly growth numbers recently yourself. How much growth potential does this budget give you? Where you looking for innovation?
It’s an enormous tailwind for us, and our quarterly growth was fantastic. It was great to post, but we are coming off a low base. I think there is also the role for innovation in terms of using AI, machine learning to start and be more predictive around people’s behaviour. And what I mean by that is rather than just detecting an event that has occurred in the first place, that might otherwise, cause loss of independence, start seeing what’s the patterns of behaviour that led up to that, that might allow caregivers and families to put something in place before the event occurs in the first place. And that’s where InteliCare is innovating right now with machines learning.