LASA wants a funding response from the Government for providers to keep pace with the wage increase.
The indexation of aged care funding in the country is not keeping up with the demands of rising wages of aged care workers or those receiving aged care,” says LASA Chief Executive Officer, Sean Rooney.
“LASA supports the aged care workforce strategy, including the goals of improving pay, conditions, training, and career pathways for aged care workers.”
“The challenge is to balance these goals with the practical realities of government-controlled aged care funding, where indexation of subsidies is already falling behind wage growth and the ability of providers to raise prices is highly regulated.
“Despite wages increasing by more than 3 percent per year over the last three years, we expect indexation of aged care funding to continue to be less than 1.5 percent unless there is a change in Government policy,” Mr Rooney says
“The result is that in residential care, an estimated more than 40 percent of facilities are operating at a loss and in home care, the average earnings per client continue to fall making many services unsustainable.”
Mr Rooney believes these wage increases will be worse in rural, regional and remote areas where staff access and higher costs can cause financial stress on aged care facilities.
LASA alleges that residential care providers are increasing the number of hours of care for each resident but some providers have had to cut staff numbers down.
With the wage rise, LASA believes in home care consumers will have fewer care hours to purchase unless there is an increase in the value of packages.