For the first time in over 40 years, aged care is one of the major issues on the political agenda. Ahead of the Federal Election on May 21, Carinity is encouraged by the public support for Australia’s aged care industry and its dedicated workers.
Polling undertaken by YouGov found aged care policy is an ‘important issue’ for 83% of Australian voters in deciding how they will vote at the election. Three in ten voters (29%) say aged care policy will be a ‘very important issue’ in their decision.
Lee Beames, father of Carinity Brookfield Green aged care resident Brian Beames, 97, supports changes to Australia’s aged care system and wants the next Federal Government to “make change happen”.
“I think most people have the view that making changes to the aged care system has all been thought about for a long time, and the issues and potential solutions known, but not enough gets done. The big issue is actually to stop the endless talking and have change happen,” Lee said.
“The needs of a lot of people living in aged care are just so high. What needs to be done is not only more adequate and sustainable funding for the sector but ensuring staff receive much better pay, reflecting an increased respect and value for the very important and skilled work they provide, and ultimately the value and compassion we have for our elderly.”
Michelle Kent wishes there was “more support for families and carers of people living with dementia”, such as her 93-year-old mother, Beryl Owen, who lives at Carinity Cedarbrook aged care community.
“Finding out my mum had dementia was also a diagnosis for me. I didn’t know how complex caring for her would be and how my whole life was also going to change,” Michelle said.
Michelle said Carinity Cedarbrook on the Gold Coast, with 16 beds in its dementia care area, is an “amazing” care model she would like to see replicated more widely.
“Funding is needed to build more dementia-specific homes that cater for smaller numbers of residents, allowing residents requiring similar levels of care to be grouped together so that staff can better target their social and physical needs,” she said.
Carinity CEO Jon Campbell is urging the community to make aged care a priority in this election and vote for the political party that will do the right thing by older Australians and the industry and staff that care for them.
“The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety showed there needs to be systematic changes to Australia’s aged care industry. With the election looming and candidates seeking votes, now is the time for people who are concerned about the care of Australia’s seniors to have their voices heard,” Jon said.
Carinity is supporting It’s Time to Care About Aged Care, a nationwide call to reform Australia’s aged care system. The campaign is spearheaded by the Australian Aged Care Collaboration, a group of industry peak bodies including Baptist Care Australia, of which Carinity is a member.
Australians who are concerned about the state of our aged care system can sign the petition online at CareAboutAgedCare.org.au.
NOTE: Some photographs in this article were taken prior to the introduction of the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 mask mandate.