New research - Having a say in aged care co-design


Older Australians overwhelmingly want a seat at the table when it comes to designing a new era in aged care following the Royal Commission, according to new research by National Seniors Australia.

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The survey by National Seniors of 4,562 older Australians found that:

  • Australian seniors are passionate about older people being involved at all levels of aged care system reform.
  • Seniors currently feel that opportunities for them to be involved as co-designers of age care are minimal.
  • Seniors are wary of tokenistic gestures of engagement such as consultation processes that invite contributions but do not act on them.
  • Seniors are not just aged care recipients - many have valuable experience and expertise they can contribute in making changes to the aged care system.

National Seniors CEO and Director of Research, Professor John McCallum says the response highlights the risk of inherent ageism if it’s left to just bureaucrats alone to redesign aged care.

“The Royal Commission presented us with a once in a generation opportunity to get this right. We have no choice. We must listen to the voices of the people who will be most impacted by the new Aged Care Act.”

The research was co-released with the EveryAGE Counts campaign which said that co-designing aged care reform with older people tackles ageism at its root.

"Of course older people can and must be co-designers of the aged care system. The reason they have been largely excluded to date can be put down to ageism, pure and simple," said EveryAGE Counts Director Marlene Krasovitsky. 

"Older people bring perspective, insight and in many cases valuable expertise to the design process. They must be around the table.”

National Seniors has also suggested this research be used in the Federal Government’s search for a Council of Elders in helping reform aged care as recommended by the Royal Commission.

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