Leading advocacy organisation National Seniors Australia has welcomed the federal government’s $967 million commitment to boosting aged care, including 13,500 new residential places across Australia.
Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the commitment was a step in the right direction to help fix massive shortcomings in the aged care system.
He said government needed to focus on developing a comprehensive national aged care services funding and planning strategy and long-term sustainable solutions.
“We’ve known we have an ageing population for decades and while the government has pumped a lot of additional funding into home and residential care, it’s always playing catch-up,” Mr Henschke said.
“We can’t afford to wait for the Royal Commission into Aged Care to come up with a solution.”
National Seniors also is calling on the government to immediately improve the quality and safety of residents by requiring aged care providers to publish staff-to-resident ratios.
“Hopefully this will lead to more suitably qualified and dedicated professional care staff to be employed,” Mr Henschke said.
“As well, all aged care staff in direct care roles must have basic dementia training as a minimum service requirement.”
National Seniors commended the federal government on committing to new aged care places in regional and rural areas and a $60 million capital works program to refurbish aged care homes in priority rural and regional centres.
Information about the 2018–19 Aged Care Approvals Round outcomes, including details of the successful providers, is available at www.agedcare.health.gov.au/funding/aged-care-approvals-round-acar/2018-19-aged-care-approvals-round.
National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke is available for interview.
Media contact: Lynda Schekoske 07 3233 9134 or 0488 047 380.