Delaying aged care reform will hurt us all: COTA

A new report released today the UTS Ageing Research Collaborative highlights the impact delays to reform of our aged care sector will have on older – and ageing – Australians, COTA Australia, the leading advocacy organisation for older people, says.

COTA Australia Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Sparrow, said the report – which provides a comprehensive look into the state of aged care – is further evidence of why urgent action needs to be taken to reform the system.

“It’s no secret our aged care system is in desperate need of reform on a number of fronts and this new research is further evidence of that,” Ms Sparrow said.

“What’s crucial is that we don’t see any further delay in reform to the system like we unfortunately did last week with the Federal Government announcement around delays to elements of the Support at Home program.

Ms Sparrow said while there’s no doubt some important steps are being taken to reform the system as a whole, like improving aged care worker wages and introducing 24/7 nursing – both critical reforms that will improve the lives of older Australians – there’s much more to be done.

“It’s heartening to see the research show that 97 per cent of residential care homes have an overall star rating of three or higher. This is critical information for people looking at residential care. A similar system should also be built into the Support at Home program so we can better monitor the standards across the board.

“We’re an ageing population. Reforming our aged care sector isn’t just important for current older Australians, but for every generation following.

“Of course reform and change is not easy, but it’s crucial if we’re going to support Australians to age with the dignity we all deserve. We need governments and other stakeholders willing to take the big steps required to improve the system, not just for today’s older people, but for all of us.”

Media contact: Tamara Kotoyan, 0430 291 890