Home Care Users to Receive Increased Meal Support
While using home care allows us to maintain a sense of independence, many day to day activities, like preparing hot meals, can still prove a troublesome task.
Fortunately, home care services that focus on providing adequate meals for the elderly have been growing in prominence in the past few years to help tackle the problem.
Meals on Wheels, for example, is a meal delivery service that supplies hot and nutritious meals for thousands of Australians who may struggle to prepare food themselves.
Due to its rise in popularity and increased awareness of its benefits, the government this week has announced its plans for an additional $8 million dollars in funding towards meal providers for the elderly via the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
What Is the Commonwealth Home Support Program?
While people in residential and respite care typically do not have to worry about preparing food for themselves as it is provided for them, those living at home independently do, and it can be difficult at times for those who suffer from mobility or cognitive problems, such as dementia.
The government-funded Commonwealth Home Support Program aims to alleviate this problem by helping older Australians with daily tasks to allow them to live independently from home.
While typically providing home care services such as domestic assistance and personal care, under the additional funding, the program will now also have a much larger focus on providing meal support for people via certified meal providers, as well as assistance with helping people cook healthy meals themselves.
The funding is being provided by Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt, who says the money will allow increased funding for some 232 meal providers across the country.
“I have listened to the aged care sector and we all agree it’s important that a reliable, quality meal service for older Australians will help ensure they stay strong and connected to their community,” Minister Wyatt said this week.
“I am making additional funds available and, importantly, allocating them in a more equitable way, to address historical differences in funding across the country.
“This is a great outcome for older Australians and the meals providers who will be able to continue their important service in the years ahead.”
More than Just a Meal
Aside from providing meals for the elderly, Minister Wyatt also spoke about the importance of these services in making elderly people living at home feel less alone and isolated.
This is because most meal service providers also encourage their staff to chat with customers for a while and ensure they are keeping healthy, both physically and mentally.
“When a volunteer visits the home of an older Australian, they do more than provide a healthy meal – the visit is also an opportunity to have a friendly chat and to check on that person’s wellbeing,” said Minister Wyatt.
“We need to maintain and grow this type of service into the future.”