Waiting times 'too long', aged care royal commission hears
Waiting times for home care packages are too long and the levels of support provided are often not meeting public expectations, the royal commission into aged care has heard.
Older Persons Advocacy Network chief executive Craig Gear told the commission today that waiting times for some packages were blowing out to as much as two years.
"The capped system is not meeting the demands, supply is not meeting demand in Australia," Mr Gear said.
"At the moment that is equating to 18-to-24-month waiting times and we would say that's not acceptable and older people are telling us that's not acceptable.
"Anything under three months would be something we would be looking for."
Mr Gear also addressed the issue of some people refusing to accept interim care packages.
He said people often had concerns that they might be stuck with a lower level of support or were worried about the time it might take for the support to increase.
In his submission to the inquiry, Mr Gear highlighted the difficulty some people had in navigating the aged care system, in particular getting information about the types of services available.
"It is then the challenges of negotiating through the My Aged Care system, the registration, waiting for the assessment," he said.
Mr Gear said in some cases, people who moved into a residential care facility, did so because of the difficulties accessing home support.
In evidence to the commission on Monday, Barb Spriggs, whose husband Bob was mistreated and over medicated in Adelaide's Oakden nursing home, also raised concerns with the access to information in the aged care system, particularly when families had serious concerns.
"There needs to be a very clear pathway that an everyday person can follow if they or someone they are caring for experiences a problem," she said.
"There has to be a much easier, uncomplicated road to travel."
The royal commission hearings will continue in Adelaide on Wednesday and then again next week.
The commission will also take evidence at further hearings planned for interstate capitals as well as regional centres.
It has already received 800 public submissions and responses from about 900 of Australia's 2000 approved aged care providers.
© AAP 2019