Budget Boost for aged care pain management

Older Australians unable to communicate their pain, including people living with dementia and disability, will benefit from the Morrison Government’s 2021 budget.

Australian-based pain assessment company PainChek® has commended the Morrison Government for investing an additional $17.7 billion into aged care over five years.

PainChek® Ltd CEO Philip Daffas said the funding injection is exactly what the industry needs to improve care for older Australians.

“This is a budget that puts older Australians needing aged care front and centre,” Mr Daffas said.

“We are pleased to see the Government listening to the recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission and responding accordingly.

The $10 per day per resident boost will provide much needed funding relief for aged care homes and allow providers to invest further in important health technology, like PainChek®.”

PainChek® is a smartphone app that uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition to identify the presence of pain for those who cannot reliably self-report their pain.

One in 4 people with a profound disability experience severe and chronic pain1 – they are one of the largest groups in the community that suffers from debilitating pain.

For these people, pain often goes unrecognised and under-treated because of the difficulty some have in verbally communicating to carers or family about the severity of their pain.

Mr Daffas said the additional 80,000 Home Care Packages over the next two years is also a big win for ageing Australians and their families.

“We know how beneficial it is for older people to stay in their homes and local communities for as long as they want to,” Mr Daffas said.

“These additional Home Care Packages should provide peace of mind for older Australians and their families that pain can be properly managed while living at home.”

“We thank the Morrison Government for committing to improving the standards of aged care and we look forward to being part of this historical change.”

The Federal Government funded a national trial of PainChek® in Australian residential aged care in 2020.

Aged care providers can sign up to a 12 month federal government funded PainChek® trial. The deadline to apply closes on 31 May 2021. Providers can visit www.painchek.com/free for more information.

To date more than 350,000 PainChek® assessments have been conducted on aged care residents living with dementia, who often cannot communicate their pain.

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