28 / 04 / 2019
Our ageing population is an asset to the Australian community
Every older Australian deserve to live a dignified retirement. This includes elderly Australians who are Stolen Generation, lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and intersex older Australians – everyone deserves the same respect and dignity. Our ageing population is not a problem to be managed or forgotten. We should be celebrating the value our elderly population can contribute to the Australian community – in the general community, in business and assisting our younger generation. They can greatly contribute to our community by way of mentoring, volunteering, and in care-roles to all aspects of the Australian community.
The pension for elderly Australians is too low by today’s living standards. The post-retirement pension must be strong and provide sufficient financial support to our older Australians. The pension must be realistically indexed to ensure our older Australians live in dignity and inline with the expenses of modern living. A low pension takes choices away from our elderly population – the choice to live comfortably and safely in the Australian society and the choice to eat well. These are simple human rights.
All support services (e.g. health, housing, mental health, domestic violence, legal aid, public transport, community infrastructure) to our ageing population today must consider the high cost of living and the financial burden, particularly the high levels of stress flowing on from this for our elderly members of the community are faced with.
Chronic health issues must not be seen as a hindrance to the employment of our ageing population – ageing is a fact of life, which many of us will experience.
Aged care services must effectively support our ageing population in health, housing assistance, community infrastructure, skills transition and public transport. Our elderly population needs to be connected to the general community, to feel secure and safe, to have quality care, and remain independent as long as this is practical. They also deserve to be assisted by dedicated, professionally trained and a dedicated staff in services including health, housing, mental health, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.
Expand health care services in the Australian community, at home and in residential aged care.
Establish preventative and alternative health services for our ageing population.
Establish better quality palliative care and end of life planning and assistance for those affected and their families.
Medical research into terminal, acute and chronic health issues affecting the ageing population should be increased such as cancer, dementia, autoimmune diseases, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. Good research outcomes will enable better focus on prevention, quality care and support for our elderly population, particularly those socio-economically disadvantaged and at risk of homelessness, and migrant and Indigenous people.
Appropriate community messaging, and information sharing of ‘ageing’ medical and social issues and the isolation felt by those affected and their families is important.
Elder abuse and neglect should be addressed; with appropriate reporting in health care settings, aged care homes to stop physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. This should be strengthened by appropriate legal rights, and government legislation and policies.
Stronger retirement village legislation and stronger protections for elderly consumers and their families is required, and it should be prioritised.
Establish stronger legal protections for older Australians, including specialist community-based legal services, and services for professional high-quality financial advice regarding superannuation and retirement savings.
All Australian Aged Care homes must submit statistics and medical evidence on any abuse experienced by older Australians in care. A rigorous reporting and compliance regime must beestablished, with all abuse must be reported to the police, and the relevant government agency if appropriate and subject to legal and criminal scrutiny and charges.
Establish a long-term Aged Care workforce strategy that attracts a sustainable high quality and dedicated staff to the aged care sector, and establishes secure employment, career development opportunities with appropriate accreditation requirements and wages.
Barriers to flexible work arrangements and career progression and age discrimination for older Australians must be broken. Protections must be effectively implemented in a realistic and useful way in all work sectors. All tiers of government must work with the private sector, non-government organisations, the broader community and support services to remove these barriers.
Establish specialized career services and educational programs to give older Australians career-related information and enable them to use modern communications technologies.