Home care challenges in the spotlight ahead of first-ever dedicated conference

Published on 14 May 2024 (Last updated on 20 May 2024)

Home care providers will enjoy the spotlight at the National Home Care Conference. [Shutterstock]

The future of home care will be front and centre this month as Invox’s inaugural National Home Care Conference takes place in Melbourne and online on May 30 and 31.

Adrian Morgan, General Manager of Brisbane-based not-for-profit provider Flexi Care, told hello leaders the National Home Care Conference is vital for home care leaders as it can help influence positive outcomes in the home care sector.

He said that providers, and their clients, will benefit greatly from the access to industry experts focussed on home care services.

“Often conferences are dominated by residential care issues. To have one of them devoted to home care is really important and the timing’s great, one year out from the new Support at Home program,” Mr Morgan explained.

“The lineup of the presenters is first rate and I’m looking forward to hearing from them because they all have an enormous amount of industry knowledge and experience.”

As highlighted by Mr Morgan, a presenter himself at the Conference, its timing offers home care providers the perfect opportunity to come together and talk about key home care reform issues. This includes Support at Home, workforce development and client engagement.

“The changes to home care that are coming are very fundamental and we need to be as informed as we possibly can be. It’s also useful to get providers together to talk about issues in the proposed Support at Home model,” he said.

“We could still influence the direction the Government and the Department of Health and Aged Care take to make improvements. I believe it’s not too late for providers to have their say and influence changes that would make a better-designed home care system for the clients, providers and the Government.”

Aged care industry leader Paul Sadler is also heavily involved in the conference, both through his work as a member of the Invox team and as a keynote speaker. 

“Home care is the part of the aged care sector that is rapidly growing. The Aged Care Taskforce stated in its Report we need 44,000 additional home care places every year for the next 20 years, rising from 1.1 million clients to about 2 million in 2042,” he said.

“This is significant growth and Invox knows home care is a market that deserves its own special focus.”

He told hello leaders that attendees will have the chance to explore the good points of the home care reform process and to analyse potential risk areas.

“We have Steve Pretzel, Director of Home Modifications Australia appearing in one of the panels to assess how the new Assistive Technologies and Home Modifications Scheme is progressing,” he said.

“Following my opening presentation we have Professor Kathy Eager, Professor Michael Fine and Professor Yun-Hee Jeon exploring some of the alternative options for home care including the individual budget holder model that the Government is pursuing.”

“They have been very strong in saying there are limitations to that model so we’ll be putting that front and centre at the beginning of the conference to debate whether the Government has picked the right model for service delivery or not.”

Mr Morgan will also share his insights into the Support At Home transition journey in a panel alongside Enkindle Founder Jennene Buckley and Nikolaus Rittinghausen, Manager for The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing.

He mentioned the importance of preparation, software vendor relationships and the ability to inform employees and clients of key changes as crucial elements of a successful transition from Home Care Packages or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

“The initial launch will involve about a quarter of a million clients and when it’s all finished it’s about 1.1 million. These services mustn’t be disrupted so they can live independently and safely at home,” Mr Morgan added.

“We need to have enough information to assure clients something won’t go wrong with their services.”

Key insights from Government officials will be provided at the National Home Care Conference to assist in provider preparation. Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, will have a presentation on Quality and Safeguards specific to home care, while Ged Kearney, Assistant Minister of Health and Aged Care, will present a keynote speech on their priorities in home care. 

These insights will be critical, added Mr Sadler, particularly as he the National Home Care Conference will provide plenty of opportunity to dig into the 2024 Budget.

“We’re anticipating that the Federal Budget will have more details in it, or they will be released shortly thereafter by the Department of Health and Aged Care, on exactly how Support at Home is going to be funded,” Mr Sadler explained prior to the Budget’s release. 

“Indications are there will be a new classification with potentially 11 pay points rather than the existing four for Home Care Packages. That should allow budgets to be more tightly targeted to the needs of people and the significant underspent we have will hopefully be eliminated or reduced in the new funding model.”

Registrations are now open for Invox’s National Home Care Conference in Melbourne and online. The Conference takes place on May 30 and 31 at Marvel Stadium & online with all home care and CHSP providers invited to participate. 

aged care leaders
home care
Paul Sadler
support at home
home care reform
National Home Care Conference
Adrian Morgan
Flexi Care
home care leaders