Government funds provide some relief for the aged care sector
UnitingCare Australia welcomes today’s announcement of an injection of $662 million into residential, home and community aged care. We congratulate the Government for continuing to act on pressing issues in this important community service sector, directing funding at some of the key areas of need.
As a result of today’s announcement 10,000 older Australians will now be relieved that they are able to access services for which they have already been assessed – some as long as 18 months ago. However, the government must continue its efforts in this direction, as more than 100,000 still remain on waitlists for home care packages that meet their care needs.
Royal Commission an opportunity for Australia
Today marks the official start of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Attending today’s directions hearing, UnitingCare Australia welcomes the focus on creating a system of aged care for older Australians that provides quality, compassionate care and a safe environment. It is pleasing that the Commission is providing opportunities to gather opinions of people already in care including those outside the main cities.
Investment in aged care makes sense
UnitingCare welcomes the announcements in the MYEFO which recognise the urgent need for services to support older people in the Australian community.
Poverty, social exclusion and disadvantage are complex and persistent. Child social exclusion means lost opportunity, disengagement and the risk of leading lives of unfulfilled potential.
Today, at the start of Anti-Poverty Week, UnitingCare Australia in partnership with The University of Canberra’s, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, launches a Report which captures the multi-dimensional nature of disadvantage in Australia and its impact.
UnitingCare welcomes new strategy to support the aged care workforce
UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the fourteen Strategic Actions announced today by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt, as part of A Matter of Care: The Aged Care Workforce Strategy.
The actions, which form part of the broader Strategy, aim to support investment in workforce planning, creation of job pathways and career progression, support for leadership across the industry at all levels and strategies to attract and retain skilled workers into the sector.
UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the introduction of Cathy McGowan’s private member’s bill, seeking to establish a new Social Security Commission that would introduce greater transparency and integrity into the setting of minimum levels for social security payments.
“Ensuring our social safety net provides adequate support for people in need is integral to addressing social inequality and allowing people to live in dignity”, said Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.
“Independent scrutiny of payment levels is well overdue, and it is time that attention is focussed on ensuring that our safety net can adequately provide for those most in need”, said Ms Little.
UnitingCare Australia has previously advocated for the establishment of an independent commission to develop evidence-based benchmarks to ensure that income support payments are adequate for people to live a decent life.
Up to 10% of older Australians could experience Elder Abuse this year.
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018, UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the need for greater awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse in our community and our shared responsibility to look out for each other.
It is likely that between 2% and 10% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year, and the prevalence of neglect is possibly higher. This figure indicates that we need to do more to strengthen the connections that build safety and security within our community.
 Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., & Rhoades, H. (2015). (Research Report No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Ensuring every child’s, a winner in the birth lottery
This week is National Families Week and the aim is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society.
When it comes to families, the Government’s Budget makes it clear that it sees the provision of incentives for those earning wages as more important than providing a liveable level of income support to those who are under- or un-employed.
“This leaves the future of children overly dependent on the birth lottery” says Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia. We know that there is a social gradient in child health and child development, with those at the bottom of the scale doing worst and being most in need of increasingly expensive and difficult interventions to reduce the impact of adversity as they age.
A stronger economy for the haves, but little hope for the have nots
UnitingCare Australia tonight welcomes the government’s commitment to older Australians and their care. The extra 14,000 home-care packages go some way to relieving the pain for those 105,000 people still waiting for support. The many other measures in More Choices for a Longer Life package such as the rural and remote initiatives, indigenous funding, investment in mental health services, and the $50 million Quality Care Fund are all positive and reflect the growing ageing demographic in the community.