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Aged-care funding inadequate says Menarock Life

By Morgan Dyer

The Federal Government injected half a billion dollars into aged care last week.

However, the funding has left aged-care advocates, including Shepparton's Menarock Life director of nursing, unsatisfied.

Following the failures revealed in the Royal Commission into Aged Care interim report the government announced immediate industry funding last Monday, which included almost $500 million for 10 000 more home-care packages.

The government is also spending $25 million on better medication management programs to reduce the use of chemical restraints and another $4.7 million to reduce the number of young people with disabilities being placed into aged-care facilities.

However, Shepparton's Menarock Life director of nursing Wendy Birch said more staff and less documentation was what the industry needed to allow residents access to better care.

“The funding will assist with staff education for dementia and alternatives to chemical restraint, but this will involves extended staff time to engage in effective interventions,” Ms Birch said.

“Aged-care funding already restricts staff numbers, this will make the climate even more time poor.

Ms Birch said current staffing delivered the best care possible with the amount of time allocated as well as completing the overwhelming piles of paperwork.

“If we are considering best possible resident outcomes wouldn’t it be nice for staff to spend time engaging with the residents instead of documentation,” she said.

The interim report revealed there were 120 000 Australians waiting for home care.

It is expected high-priority elderly people will have priority to the extra 10 000 home care packages.

Ms Birch said home care was a cheaper option for the government, however she had concerns regarding the funding.

“I question how much of this funding is used for client care and how much is absorbed into administration for providers of the care,” Ms Birch said.

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