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Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency

Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency

Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says homecare agency Miranda Smith Homecare.

The Labour Party yesterday announced that, if elected, it would set up an aged care working group within 100 days in office. Better pay for caregivers, “continuum of care” plans from home to palliative care, minimum rest home staffing levels, minimum qualification standards and consistent national elder abuse and neglect prevention services were some of its goals.

Miranda Smith Homecare managing director Miranda Smith says with our rapidly ageing population, the aim of any working group should be simply to figure out how to respond to the growing need for care facilities and carers. The health system is already under pressure, the funded sector is reaching capacity and elderly are increasingly likely to find they have no-where to go when they can no longer look after themselves, she says.

Ms Smith says a lot of work is already being done to address abuse and neglect, the carer qualification bar is always being lifted, and managing elderly from home through to palliative care won’t count for much if there are not enough beds or carers.

“We are looking at three to six year issues, and regardless of who gets into government they will only get worse.”

Ms Smith says Labour’s plan to boost support for elderly remaining in their own homes is promising, as is its plan to introduce an aged care commissioner, but hopes such a role would oversee the creation a long term plan, rather than short term tinkering.


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