Original media release from COTA (8/08/2023)
Older Australians will be asked to share their knowledge, insights and perspectives on our aged care system over the coming weeks as part of a consultation process looking at strengthening and improving the laws governing aged care.
The consultations follow the release of the Australian Government’s Consultation Paper on the new Aged Care Act – a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – as well as the release of principles guiding aged care funding.
Peak aged care advocacy bodies, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia and Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) will lead a series of forums across the country over the coming weeks, seeking input into the consultation process from those who matter most – those with lived experience.
The forums will provide input into the government’s Consultation Paper which focuses on foundational elements of the new Act, such as whistleblower protection, supported decision-making arrangements, duty of care and compensation pathways and a Statement of Rights.
The forums will also provide feedback on the draft funding principles that were recently released by the Aged Care Taskforce, which is examining the options for an equitable and sustainable aged care system.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Sparrow:
“Improving our Aged Care Act is critical if we’re going to improve our aged care system. It is the foundation for the changes we need to see.
“We’ll be speaking to older people and their families and carers over the coming weeks to ensure that the voices and experiences of those who matter most are heard loud and clear.
“A key recommendation from the Aged Care Royal Commission was that our Aged Care Act needed to be revisited. It’s great that the Federal Government is finally opening up the conversation about what an Aged Care Act that truly delivers for older Australians looks like.
“We need laws which put the needs of older Australians front and centre.”
OPAN Chief Executive Officer, Craig Gear OAM:
“We can’t improve older people’s experience without an Aged Care Act that respects, protects and enforces their rights.
“The current version, which is more than 25 years old, is focused on the operation and funding of aged care services. It is largely divorced from the human experience of older people.”
“If we are serious about a rights-based Act that puts older people, and the services they need, front and centre, then it stands to reason that older people must also be front and centre of the discussion.
“Australia is at an aged care crossroads. The actions we take over the next 12 months will be crucial.
“Since older people are the experts in their aged care, we need their input on this major piece of reform to ensure we get it right.”
COTA and OPAN are committed to ensuring a diverse range of voices are heard during the consultation process. Everyone, particularly older people with experience of aged care, are encouraged to take part in the consultations being run by COTA and OPAN. To find out more and to get involved go to https://opan.org.au/cota-opan-consultations. If you need assistance registering you can call 1800 001 321. Hotline operating hours are 8am – 8pm Mon – Fri | 10am – 4pm Sat.