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Hospital ward with empty beds

Funding provided through the Flexible Aged Care Places Allocation will increase the care level of 31 beds in the Western NSW Local Health District to high in a bid to support the growing number of residents requiring a greater level of care.

Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, says the $500,000 in funding will help to provide "more staff and other resources" to service the growing needs of Western NSW communities. 

Due to factors including cost, location and independence, elderly people are staying within their own homes for longer, while using government funded packages to assist with tasks such as housekeeping and bathing. 

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of people accessing home care services has increased dramatically in recent years, from 38,752 in 2007 to 71,429 in 2017. 

As people stay at home for longer, their needs when they enter an aged care facility tend to be higher than if they had entered the facility earlier. This is again supported by the AIHW, with statistics showing that the percentage of people within residential homes requiring a 'high' level of care has increased from 33.4% in 2009 to 56.5% in 2017. People requiring 'Nil' or 'Low' care has dropped significantly from 38.5% in 2009 to 13.4% in 2017.

With the appointment of a new Commissioner into Aged Care and a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to be conducted throughout 2019, the level of impact will become evident, and may affect how funding is distributed and allocated in the future. 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Source

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