National Seniors Australia has welcomed the Morrison Government’s announcement of investing in research into better care for seniors and training for age care providers but says all parties are ignoring the dire need to boost home care packages.
The government’s announcement targets significant shortfalls in the way Australia cares for its senior citizens and goes some way towards addressing National Seniors election demands for a better age care system.
Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said today’s announcement by the Coalition plus Labor’s commitment to free dental care for pensioners and health card holders were a long overdue recognition of seniors issues in this election campaign.
“Now the parties must address the key health issue facing older Australians and their families today – demand for level 3 and 4 home care packages has way outstripped supply.
“We are calling for the tripling of level 3 and 4 home care packages.
“That will go some way to addressing the more than 100,000 frail older Australians on the waiting list, and provide care rather than see so many die while waiting,” Mr Henschke said.
He said it was hoped that the Aged Care Workforce Research Centre and skills program would prioritise the need for all age care workers to have basic dementia training.
“It is unacceptable that there is no mandatory training now. Trained staff would better manage dementia symptoms, help ease the high incidence of conflict in residential care, and assist in reducing physical and chemical restraints,” he said.
Mr Henschke said it was also pleasing the government recognised the importance of addressing the problem of loneliness.
“The $10 million Seniors Connected Program is a timely initiative to counter the rising incidence of loneliness and isolation plaguing many older people,” he said.
National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke is available for comment.
Media contact: 0488 047 380.