credit:Alex Proimos (Flickr)

Old age people are prone to accident risk in their own home. Changes in vision, hearing, muscle strength, co-ordination and reflexes make older people vulnerable to falls; they may fall on a staircase because of poor lighting, sprained their muscles when lifting heavy things or burn themselves while using the kitchen. While these accidents may be small for young people but for the aged, special aid has to be taken in the hospitals.

Caring for older Australians has a big cost and the Federal Government alone spends about $10 billion annually on aged care, which is more than 17 per cent of the total health budget.

Part of the Prime Minister's proposed takeover of health includes funding for extra aged care places and taking over community care services.

Those services help the frail and vulnerable with basic chores around the house to try to stop them ending up as part of a backlog of patients in public hospitals. The chores may include heavy housework, vacuuming, mopping and making beds.

In addition, the services may also put the aged at ease by allowing them independence  around their own home as nursing home may not be able to tend to their own personal likes or dislikes.

Thousands of older Australians need help with their chores and household maintenance tasks.

But many other older Australians are missing out because they are stuck on waiting lists for something as basic as house cleaning.

Chief executive of the Council on the Ageing Ian Yates says there is a chronic shortage of home help.

In some places you might only wait a few weeks, in other parts of the state and the country you can wait months even to get assessed and having been assessed you may have to wait, he said.

Mr Yates hopes the Federal Government's aged care plan might achieve improvements.

An example of an absurdity in the system, at the moment these packages of aged care that come from the Commonwealth are handed out on a region-by-region basis and provider-by-provider basis, he said.

That means that someone can be sitting in a certain region and needing a package of care and the providers there don't have any left.

In the next region there can be providers with them left - you can't swap them. Now that is just patent nonsense and the packages should follow the person.

Community care is split into two streams, one run and funded by the Commonwealth, the other with 60 per cent Commonwealth funding but run by the states and territories.

The Federal Government's proposal is to provide 100 per cent of funding for the aged care sector, something especially attractive to South Australia which is home to the nation's oldest population.