The Retirement Living Council (RLC) has provided the Commonwealth Aged Care Taskforce with what it says are a range of solutions and opportunities to address the challenges of keeping the aged care sector operational, fair and equitable in the face of soaring costs.
RLC Executive Director, Daniel Gannon said the submission makes clear that the sector – which houses more than 260,000 older Australians – is uniquely equipped to reduce costs and resource load on government funded health and aged care.
“The retirement living industry is at a pivotal juncture, evolving from a property-focused sector in years gone by to one that focuses on health, wellbeing and care,” Mr Gannon said.
“It is critical that government understands these opportunities as it plans for the significant increase of older Australians and aims to keep the aged care sector operational.
“The population shift forecast by the 2023 Intergenerational Report will have socio-economic impacts on the nation, including the housing supply shortage and the pressure on an already struggling residential aged care sector.
“For these reasons, the Retirement Living Council has made a submission to the current Aged Care Taskforce review into funding models.”
Mr Gannon said the RLC’s submission attempts to speak to some of the differences between retirement living and aged care, but also points out some opportunities.
“Residents are on average happier, healthier and more socially connected and active than older Australians not living in age-friendly communities,” he said.
“Importantly, they have reduced interactions with GPs, reduced presentations at hospitals, and delayed entry into aged care – a lot of upsides for governments.
“The value in these efficiencies to government is almost $3.5 billion per annum, meaning government can continue to provide health and aged care services to Australians who need it most.”