Aged Care

Older Australians built so much of our country.  

Every family wants their much loved older family member to have what they need as they age. 

It’s only right that the best care is provided to them as they age.The Royal Commission into Aged Care was a much-needed wake up call for Governments to invest and reform our aged care system.  

The Commission envisioned an aged care system that supports people to age with dignity in their own homes for as long as possible, and then in a residential facility that offers caring, safe and affordable services if they need it.  

I’ve worked to support the implementation of all 148 recommendations and realise this important vision. 


Building new aged care facilities in Indi

Too often, aged care facilities in our regional towns are left outdated and not fit-for-purpose.  

Aging in the region shouldn’t mean that we don’t receive the same standard of care as our city cousins.  

Right now, Bright is the largest town in Victoria without a high-needs residential aged care facility. The much-loved Hawthorn Village plays an important role for the community, but if people need high needs care, such as people with dementia, they must leave town and travel to Mt Beauty or Wangaratta to access appropriate care.  

Older people, many of whom have family members who want to come and visit regularly, should not be forced to leave their hometown to access the care they need. 

I’m working to secure the funding Indi needs to ensure our elderly can age with the care they need close to home.

Helen Haines

Local innovation

Indi is leading the way in offering home-grown innovation. 

The Beechworth Health Service has developed a program offering practical ways for older people to live longer by providing a structure for the care that ensures health care professionals: 

  • understand and act on a person’s values, priorities, goals and care preferences 
  • screen for high-risk medications and prescribe medicines effectively 
  • support patients to stay mobile and take part in physical activity that suits their ability 
  • assess and ensure adequate hydration, nutrition and sleep 
  • screen, assess and manage vision, hearing, incontinence, cognitive decline and depression 

I’m proud to have helped secured $1.3 million in Federal funding to support the program and facilitate its roll out to six rural health services – Alpine Health, Beechworth Health Service, Corryong Health, Gateway Health, Tallangatta Health Service and Yackandandah Health. 


Revamping home-based care

Home care assistance is vital for older Australians to remain in their own home longer.  

But wait lists for home-based care have grown significantly in recent years. According to the Department of Health, more than 500 people in the North East are waiting for home care packages.  

Too frequently, my office hears stories of older people and their families who are desperately trying to find home care providers. But being in a regional area there are just not enough of them. Providers often say they can’t find the staff to do the work. 

My plan to revamp home-based care would set a maximum legal waiting time of one month for people to be approved for a home care package to then receive it.  

You can read my full plan to revamp home-based care here.  


Nurses, where and when you need them

When the bell rings in an aged care facility, you should have confidence that a nurse is just around the corner.  

We need registered nurses in residential care, round the clock, to give older people the care they deserve.  

The Royal Commission into Aged Care recommended 24/7 registered nursing at aged care homes. From 1 July 2023, residential aged care homes across Australia have been required to have a registered nurse on-site and on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unless granted a 12-month exemption.  

But to meet this requirement, more needs to be done to train and retain aged care workers in regional areas.