If a resident wants to have a break from their aged care accommodation, until very recently, the legislation only permitted permanent residents to be away from their aged care residence for up to 52 days a year for non-hospital related reasons. This is known as social leave. If they took more than the 52 days the Government did not provide its subsidy to cover the extra days and the cost was usually passed on to the resident.
The legislation has now changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. New emergency leave legislation amendments have now been adopted by the Federal Government, which are to be activated in volatile situations, including natural disasters or health epidemics.
The Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, said the recent bushfires and the virus pandemic had highlighted the need to protect leave entitlements of aged care residents.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, some aged care residents have temporarily relocated to live with family, to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Most of these residents are likely to exhaust their 52 days before the pandemic passes, leading to extra costs on them or their families.”
The eligibility for emergency leave will be backdated to 1 April this year, so people impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis are not disadvantaged.
With so many changes being made by the governments during this pandemic, clients are finding my services as a Placement Consultant to be even more helpful than ever. I can advise clients as I am kept up to date with all the latest legislative changes and procedures being adopted by each of the aged care facilities within Victoria.