What it’s really like to be on the home care waiting list

The home care waiting list is now more than 121,000 people. While the sheer volume of people on the waiting list is a major concern, so too are the stories of each individual on that waiting list – many who will die waiting for their package to come through.

This was the point raised by a segment this week on ABC News, featuring Envigor client David and his daughter Joanne.

David lives alone and has a Level 1 aged care package, worth $8000 a year, which helps pay for transport to medical appointments. However, he has been assessed as needing a much higher Level 3 package and he’s been waiting more than a year for the extra funds and support.

This situation has had a significant impact on the way David is living and puts pressure on Joanne as his family carer to deliver the care he needs around her own family and work commitments.

“I could be doing a lot more than I’m doing if I had more help. I don’t go anywhere; I just sit at home,” David told ABC Social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant.

Daughter Joanne has been through the home care process and waiting list for both her mum and dad, with her mum Sandy, unfortunately, passing away the day after her package finally came through.

“I know that my mum before she passed away was incredibly frustrated and upset and she kept saying ‘I’m going to die on the waiting list’, and then she did,” said Joanne.

And Sandy is not the only one that this has happened to. The segment reported that The Aged Care Royal Commission has heard 16,000 older Australians have passed away in one year while waiting for home care packages.

“All of the government parties have had more than 30 years to sort this mess out and you sat on it because it was too hard and too uncomfortable and no one wanted to talk about it,” says Joanne.

Watch the full ABC News segment here:

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