Carers Australia has joined with Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Baptist Care Australia and Uniting Care Australia in urging the government to release more Home Care Packages for the aged.

“The current caps on the number of home care packages and the long waiting times before aged people can access packages of support for which they have been deemed eligible shifts heavy care loads onto family and friend carers,” said Ara Cresswell, CEO of Carers Australia.

“Many of these carers are aged themselves and have decreasing capacity to take on a hefty and exhausting caring role.

“It needs to be remembered that 36 percent of all carers are over the age of 65 and most are caring for a partner.

“Their ability to keep on providing high levels of care will frequently depend on additional support from the aged care system.

“Not only will the physical, psychological and emotional stress of caring for another aged person impact their own health and level of disability, forcing them to seek higher levels of home support in their own right, but it will be a major factor in a decision to relinquish the person they love and wish to keep with them at home into residential aged care,” said Ms Cresswell.

“Capping home care supports at an unrealistically low level is a false economy, necessitating increasing need for subsidised paid care into the future.”