UnitingCare Australia welcomes PM’s commitment to aged care reform
UnitingCare Australia has welcomed comments by the Prime Minister confirming the Government’s commitment to overhauling Australia’s aged care system.
National Director Lin Hatfield-Dodds said, “The Prime Minister’s comments come ahead of Monday’s release of the Productivity Commission’s final report into aged care.
“The report will recommend how to fix the aged care system so it works for older people and their families and delivers high quality services as demand grows.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s support of reforms to make aged care sustainable and fair.
“UnitingCare supports using the value of the family home to contribute to costs of housing and care as people age.
“Australians who can contribute to the cost of their housing and care do so throughout their lives and should continue to do so as they age. But people entering retirement age who have little or no savings and don’t own their own homes must have their needs met as they age.
“Every older Australian, regardless of their financial position, should be able to access high quality aged care services, including with the support of funding from the public purse.”
Chair of UnitingCare’s Australia Aged Care Network and Executive Director of leading aged care provider Blue Care, Robyn Batten, said, “Current funding levels are woefully inadequate.
“For an older person living in residential care with complex health problems, not able to move around or feed themselves without help, current funding levels provide face-to-face care for three hours per day. That means our most frail older people can be on their own for 21 hours a day, at real risk of loneliness and isolation.
“Many people can’t get the support they need, when they need it and for as long as they need it because service numbers in community and residential care are capped and funding falls short of needs.
“Older people and their families often can’t choose the service they want and services can’t use their funding flexibly to meet individual needs.
“All political parties have a responsibility to work together to ensure that aged care reform happens now.”
Lin Hatfield-Dodds added,“UnitingCare Australia looks forward to working closely with the Government and Parliament to drive aged care reform following the release of the Commission’s final report.”
The UnitingCare network is one of the largest providers of social services in Australia, delivering care to over two million people through 1,300 sites in remote, regional and metropolitan communities.
The UnitingCare network provides community-based aged care in remote, regional and metropolitan communities in every state and territory. Its network manages 12 per cent of all residential aged care places in Australia with over 12,000 aged care beds nationally.