Elderly issues pushed in election talk
The National Aged Care Alliance wants the care needs of older Australians to be placed on the election agenda.
Aged care advocacy groups are launching a national campaign urging both the Coalition and Labor to speak up for older Australians.
“Too often in elections older Australians don't get the priority that they should,” Council on the Ageing (COTA) chief executive Ian Yates has told the ABC.
“We have had elections in the near past when neither party actually issued an aged care policy, so we are asking the parties to be much more explicit with the Australian people about what we're doing for the care of older Australians, much earlier in the campaign.”
At the moment, about 40 per cent of people eligible for home care of some kind have to wait at least three months to receive the service.
A similar proportion of Australians are forced to wait more than three months for a permanent residential place in an aged care facility.
Too many people are missing out, according to Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA).
“If you need a health service through Medicare, you receive a service,” ACSA president Paul Sadler said.
“In aged care at the moment that's not guaranteed, there's a cap on the number of places a cap on the dollars that are available for aged care.”
The recent federal budget included plans to save $1.2 billion by reassessing the Government’s funding formula for aged care providers.
It is apparently aimed at addressing higher-than-expected growth in the cost of the payments.
But ACSA says it could hurt some vulnerable residents.
“This is the third adjustment to the aged care funding instrument since 2012,” Mr Sadler said.
“We really need stability in the way aged care is funded and that's what we're calling for.”
An ongoing 10-year process of change in Australia’s aged care system still has the broad support of both major parties.
The aged care lobbies want clear commitments to be made to the government’s advisory committee reform roadmap.