OLDER Australians who access home care services, will now be able to exercise greater control with the Federal Government's launching of 'Increasing Choice in Home Care' in February.
Over the next year, more than 100,000 older Australians will benefit from the new consumer-driven services, allowing direct funding to an approved provider of their choice.
The Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt said the major reform would improve the way services were delivered to older people in their homes.
"Changes to Home Care Packages, mean that funding for home care will - for the first time - follow the consumer, not the provider," he said
"This major change allows older Australians to direct funding to the provider of their choice to meet their particular needs. If their care needs are not being met, they can change providers more easily."
Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), a body representing providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living, have backed the reforms.
LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the changes marked a significant milestone on Australia's aged care roadmap.
"Market forces are combining with a growing desire by older Australians to stay at home longer, closer to family and friends," Mr Rooney said.
"Increasing choice and consumer directed care reforms allow Australia's ageing population to customise their own home care and continue to live at home longer," he said.
Catholic Health Australia (CHA), the body for the Catholic hospital and aged care network, have also backed the reforms, having worked with government and other aged care stakeholders towards implementing the changes.
CHA CEO Suzanne Greenwood said the launch marked a significant step in the right direction for aged care in Australia.
A range of consumer information to help older people make an informed choice, is available on the My Aged Care website. Consumers can also call 1800 200 422 to talk to someone about these changes.