Funding system needs to recognise consumer rights

National Seniors says the aged care system needs a new funding approach to support the rights of older Australians.

A seniors lobby group has used International Human Rights Day (Wednesday, 10 November) to put the aged care system under the spotlight.

National Seniors says the aged care system needs a fundamental overhaul to allow older people to age with dignity.

“Our concern is very much about getting the funding model right so that aged care providers can provide the services they need to,” said CEO, Michael O’Neill.

“[Currently, the system] is plagued by staffing shortages and low wages. People often have to move out of their suburb of 30 years, as aged care facilities are located on the fringes of cities.

The statements from National Seniors follow recent calls from Catholic Health Australia to improve funding and flexibility in aged care.

Mr O’Neill said consumers wished to talk with with government and the industry to develop a better system for the seniors of today and tomorrow.

“People living in residential aged care are not just numbers, beds, statistics,” he said. “They are real people: our relatives, our friends, our fellow Australians.”

“We must not forget that seniors are not a homogeneous group. In discussions about policy, funding and legislation, human rights should be observed.”

This year’s theme for Human Rights Day is ‘Dignity and Justice for All of Us’. 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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