The Greens are calling on the major parties to present a comprehensive plan for the aged care sector before the 18th of May.
“With the Royal Commission hearings during an election campaign the major parties should be called to account on what they have to offer older Australians and their families this election, but all we have seen is piecemeal offering from both sides,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“We have an ageing population. Politicians can’t be shocked by this. There should have been long term planning for this, listening and engaging with the sector and it’s a failure of Government that it has come to the point where a Royal Commission is needed.
“Aged care should be an election issue but other parties don’t want to commit in a real way on the reforms that we need and won’t address the systemic issues that we have known about for ages.
“While the Royal Commission is now necessary the warning signs have been there for years and it shouldn’t have to be a crisis for there to be the mere suggestion of action.
“There is no point being sorry and distressed by what has occurred if we don’t see plans for substantive reform.
“The evidence we have heard this week in regards to chemical and physical restraints is heartbreaking for both older Australians and their families and it doesn’t need to be this way.
“There is a growing body of evidence of ways to reduce the use of restraints in aged care facilities. We know that the way facilities are designed and the care given can help minimise the behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia.
“Over the short to medium term, the Greens support mandatory reporting of the use of chemical and physical restraints in all aged care facilities, with a plan to end the use of restraints.
“The Government must urgently legislate to stop the use of chemical and physical restraints and increase support and funding so that those who need extra support get nurses and carers who can support them.
“Home Care packages are proven to keep older Australians out of residential care and in their homes, where they want to be. They are better for health, better for families and better for older Australians. But thanks to the Liberals’ cuts and chaos, over 100,000 Australians are on the waiting list for Home Care packages.
“Dignity cannot be drip-fed. That’s why we have a plan to ensure older Australians have safe, affordable aged care.
“If we are going to improve care and aged care facilities then some of the lowest paid workers, aged care workers need a pay increase. The Greens are committed to a 15% increase.
“There is urgent need for a comprehensive approach to aged care reform to ensure that older Australians have top quality choice and control in their lives and are confident they can access the care they need.
The Greens will
1. Guarantee a human rights based approach to aged care
2. Provide funding for an additional 50,000 Level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages over three years at a cost of $5.491billion
3. Commit $3 billion to:
- Increase hours of care provided to each resident in residential aged care to four hours and eighteen minutes per day
- Require staff to resident ratios that ensure an adequate level of care including a minimum of one registered nurse rostered 24/7
- Increase pay for aged care workers by 15%
4. End the use of chemical and physical restraints in aged care facilities
5. Review the Aged Care Funding Instrument
The full policy can be found here.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180