Aged Care Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is underway, and Carers Australia has made a statement and appeared as a witness. The statement focused on a number of areas identified by the Royal Commission, including:

• workforce reform, especially for residential care
• home care, emphasising the inadequacy of supply of Home Care Packages
• respite care, including the need for cottage style accommodation
• carer inclusiveness in providing services
• quality and safety of residential aged care
• future decline of family and friend carers due to demographic/population changes.

Carers Australia will make further submissions to the Royal Commission and, together with the state and territory Carers Associations, is preparing to invite carers to contribute stories and experiences. Carers can also make submissions directly to the Royal Commission.


Sleep inquiry

The parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport is conducting an Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness in Australia. Carers Australia made a submission to and appeared at the Inquiry to talk about the needs of carers who are not getting enough sleep, and the effects lack of sleep has on their lives and the lives of their families.

Carers Australia talked about carers’ experiences of sleep deprivation resulting from their caring responsibilities, and advocated for more support for those carers, including to ask for greater access to regular, subsidised overnight replacement care.

Carers Australia has also commissioned the Sleep Health Foundation to conduct research into carer sleep health, and to develop fact sheets to support carers affected by lack of sleep. Carers Australia will also be developing an education module on sleep health.


Productivity Commission review of the National Disability Agreement

The Productivity Commission released its Review of the Commonwealth and State and Territory National Disability Agreement in January. The National Disability Agreement (NDA) sets out the responsibilities of the Commonwealth and state and territory governments in providing services for people with disability. It sets out the way that outcomes can be measured, so that governments can be held responsible for the services they provide.

The Productivity Commission consulted Carers Australia while it was conducting the Review, and the Report recommended a more carer inclusive NDA, including measuring and reporting on governments’ performance. Importantly, the Report places pressure on states and territories to continue to offer (and stop withdrawing) services that are not in the NDIS, including advocacy services, and to offer services to people with disability who are not NDIS participants as well as their carers.


Young Carers - Your Story Matters

The inaugural Your Story Matters campaign has come to a close. Young carers across Australia shared their experiences on our Story Wall to raise awareness of their community and the challenges they face.

Head to the Young Carers Network to read their stories, or submit your own. In addition, due to the success of the Your Story Matters campaign, we are pleased to announce it will run again in 2019.


Effective communication techniques education resource

The Department of Social Services has contracted Carers Australia to develop a series of online education resources, which will be published on the Carer Gateway. These resources will be tested with carers and further developed based on carer feedback.

The latest resource, effective communication techniques, is now available and there is an interactive PDF version you can download and complete. The module will refresh your communication skills to help you gain confidence to plan and talk about difficult issues.

There is a quick evaluation you can complete at the end of the module, and we would love to get your feedback on whether or not you found this resource useful.


Young Carer Bursaries 2019

The Young Carer Bursary Program, an initiative funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS), supports young carers aged 12-25 to engage in education by awarding $3,000 scholarships.

Carers Australia has awarded more bursaries this year than ever before, with a total of 368 bursaries offered to young carers. 


NDIS pricing increase to support people with complex needs

A recent pricing increase under the NDIS is set to improve support for people with complex needs. The current two levels of price control for self-care, social and recreational support has been replaced with three price levels from 1 February 2019.

The change is to ensure the complex needs of people with disability are met through skilled and qualified staff and support services. The pricing increase will mean participants will pay an increased fee per hour for support, delivered by support workers who are equipped to meet their needs.

“The pricing increase recognises that people with complex needs require higher levels of skilled supports in their NDIS plans,” Minister for Families and Social Services, the Hon Paul Fletcher said. “The changes will also link pricing controls to the skill level of the worker who delivers the support.”