Independent senate candidate David Pocock says the renewed focus on senior Australians in this week’s federal budget and budget-in-reply follows ongoing community concerns about the state of aged care.
The community-endorsed candidate urged a faster response to the horrors exposed by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and its 148 wide-ranging recommendations.
“We have a duty of care to our older Australians, every bit as strong as we do to our children,” David says.
“More than a year since the Aged Care Royal Commission handed down its final report many in the community are still waiting to see things improve.
“We can and must do better in caring for the older members of our community with dignity and respect and to support those whose job it is to look after them.
“It’s encouraging to see these issues in focus this week and some significant commitments being made because so much more needs to be done.
“Here in the ACT some 632 of our seniors are still waiting to get access to a Home Care Package at their approved level according to the most recent data.
“There is a shortage of places in residential aged care generally, and particularly in some of our biggest and fastest growing areas.
“Speaking with community leaders I’m told the Gunghalin district doesn’t yet have a single residential aged care bed for a population of more than 85,000.
“Our aged care workers have had one of the toughest jobs throughout the pandemic and aged care residents and their families have found lockdowns extremely hard.
“We need to make sure older Australians have access to the quality of care they need with a workforce that receives appropriate support. This includes training, wages, qualifications, and staff to resident ratios.
“If elected I will work to see meaningful reform in our aged care sector.
“We saw South Australian Independent Senator Rex Patrick successfully move an amendment in the Senate in this final week of parliament to require a Registered Nurse be onsite 24/7 in residential aged care. It was disappointing this amendment wasn’t debated or passed in the lower house meaning further change will have to wait until after the election.”
Next Friday 8 April 2022 David will be hosting an online Community Forum, Putting the spotlight on senior Australians where he will be joined by a panel of expert speakers including ANMF National Secretary Annie Butler and National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke. Details at www.davidpocock.com.au/events