Seniors dismiss aged care policies

National Seniors CEO says both major parties’ aged care policies lack innovation.

Australia’s largest seniors’ organisation has joined the aged care industry in its criticism of both major parties’ aged care policies in the lead up to the federal election.

National Seniors has accused the Coalition and Labor of failing to deliver any new policy initiatives in aged care.

Instead of seizing the opportunity for innovation, National Seniors CEO Michael O’Neill says both parties have looked at aged care as a problem.

“The initiatives we have heard so far have been health-driven and have talked about building more aged care places to free up hospital beds,” he said.

“They’re not about delivering good aged care outcomes.”

The seniors group also expressed concern that, with over 90 per cent of people planning to age in their own homes, there has been no discussion of the adequacy of current community care packages and no mention of new investment in assistive technologies.

“The ageing in place issue has not been picked up on at all,” said Mr O’Neill.

“There have been no new initiatives about social isolation at a time when loneliness is a major issue for seniors and community breakdown is occurring more and more.”

Mr O’Neill also criticised the decision from the Coalition and Labor to increase the pensioner’s Utilities Allowance to $500.

Instead he said, decision-makers should be looking to increase the core pension levels to make them more secure, particularly for single pensioners.
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