Older Australians Demand Better Aged Care This Election

An alliance of 48 aged care groups will today launch a national campaign to put aged care on the election agenda after silence from the major parties on how they will address the aged care needs of older Australians.

The Australians Deserve to Age Well campaign www.agewellcampaign.com.au will target all political parties, calling for an end to the ‘aged care lottery’ so that older people no longer have to wait for months to receive the care they need.

COTA Australia CE Ian Yates said despite some multi-partisan steps in the right direction in recent years, older people still languish on waiting lists, not receiving the right level of care because there are not enough aged care packages to go around.

“We are calling on all political parties in the 2016 Federal election to commit to a timetable to end the aged care lottery,” Mr Yates said.

“This is one of the key asks inthe Alliance’s Position Statement for the 2016 Federal Election.

“It is not good enough that thousands of people are forced to wait months and in some cases years to access the level of care and support the Government’s own independent assessment says they need.

“We are talking about older, vulnerable Australians, living day-to-day, missing out on showers, daily care visits and family respite. This is not how we should be treating our elderly parents and grandparents.”

Annie Butler, Acting Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said the capping of aged care places creates an inequitable lottery for Australians right at the time you needed aged care most.

“In 2015 the federal government funded an aged care service for 112 out of every 1000 Australians over 70 years. If you are number 113 or more you join a long waiting list for care, regardless of how urgently you need it,” Ms Butler said.

“We need an aged care system that meets the demands for care required, not one that means we have to turn people in need away.”

The campaign is also calling on the Coalition Government to release the modeling that led to an adjustment of $1.2billion in residential aged care in the 2016 Federal Budget.

“We call on all political parties to commit to an open and transparent co-design process between providers, consumers, professionals, unions and the Department – as we have successfully done over the past few years,” said Aged and Community Services Australia President, Paul Sadler.

“We need to see the modeling and assumptions used to justify this significant reduction in projected growth.”

The Australians Deserve to Age Well campaign is run by the National Aged Care Alliance – a coalition of 48 aged care consumer advocates, service providers, professionals and unions to reform Australia’s aged care system and make sure all Australians can age well.

Read more about the campaign, including the 2016 Australians Deserve to Age Well Position Statement for the 2016 Federal Election by visiting www.agewellcampaign.com.au.

Media contact: Peter Stahel (Essential Media) 0408 584 439