ELECTION: When Baby Boomers need aged care, what will it be like?

We asked the 10 candidates for Page:

As baby boomers get older, more and more people need aged care.  What preparations need to be made for this? What can be done to ease current pressures?

Heather Smith

Australian Federation

This is simply an area of investment that we as a society must shoulder and I’m doubtful that the profit- centred model we currently have is fit for purpose.  More places, more training, better wages, 24-hour nurse availability are all essential in our residential care facilities.  Ongoing investment in programs that keep our seniors in their own home for longer are also essential, this includes home renovation, drop-in services and health and mobility programs that focus on healthy ageing.   We need to support as many people as possible to maintain the ability to live independently.

Hanabeth Luke

Independent

Implement the Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations which call for flexible funding, greater accountability and more education and resourcing in our aged care sector.

I’ve had to navigate it recently on my 81-year-old mother’s behalf, and the system is absolutely broken. Another example of funding schemes that takes years and endless forms for people to access.

Patrick Deegan

Labor

A Labor Government will ensure older Australians receive the aged care they deserve.  They will

• require every aged care facility to have a registered, qualified nurse on site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

• mandate that every Australian living in aged care receives an average of 215 minutes of care per day

• back a real pay rise for aged care workers

• ensure that there is better food for aged care resident

• make residential care providers report what they are spending money on and

• give the Aged Care Safety Commissioner new powers to ensure accountability and integrity.

Serge Killingbeck

The New Liberals

We would support enacting the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Support improving both pay and conditions of workers and have staffing to patient ratios in care facilities at world’s best practice.

We also propose a ‘council of elders’ to assist the executive government in policy development, putting a culture of respect for the wisdom and knowledge of our elders at the heart of government. Our policy platform of universal fully funded healthcare should contribute significantly to lifting the overall well being of older Australians.

Ian Williamson

United Australia

Lifting the rate of the pension by $180 per fortnight will ensure pensioners can maintain their independence for longer.

Financial hardship is a common reason for people choosing to go into care so they can afford three meals a day and a roof over their head. We need to do better for our elderly, and I will continuously strive to improve the system.

Tom Searles

Liberal Democrats

Currently aged care facilities are so overstaffed that covid positive nurses can work, while covid negative nurses who are unvaccinated cannot. Any offer of a solution without addressing the mandates, the single biggest issue affecting the sector, is a bandaid solution.

I would also support community programs that connect our elderly with our youth. I have worked in such programs in the past and they have been extremely successful in proving volunteer systems that encourage people into the sector.

Kashmir Miller

The Greens

Our aged care sector is often neglected by the government, and our older people and aged care workers deserve better. The Greens will ensure quality care for older people by increasing the hours of care provided to residents to at least the recommended four hours and 18 minutes per day, per resident, ensure a minimum one Registered Nurse is rostered on 24/7 in all registered aged care facilities and increase aged care workers pay by 25%. We also need to fix the aged care system by ensuring transparency and accountability, as well as phasing out for-profit providers to ensure aged care is accessible for everyone.

We did not receive a response from Donna Pike, Brett Duroux or Kevin Hogan.

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