Scott Morrison has called for a new culture of respect for older Australians as he announced a $500 million increase in support for care for seniors at home.
The interim report of the Royal Commission described the unacceptable number of older Australians on waiting lists for home care as ‘unsafe practice’ and ‘neglect’.
“We were shocked and disturbed at the treatment of our older Australians in their moments of greatest vulnerability,” the Prime Minister said.
“I want to stress that what we really need to establish, above and beyond everything else, is a culture of respect for older Australians.
On a personal note, the Prime Minister said his family was no different to any other and knew the concern that all Australians have in choosing care for loved ones.
“I want to assure all Australians that we will deal with these issues as you would if you were standing in my shoes today,” he said.
“I know quite precisely the sorts of things that you are thinking about at the moment, when it comes to the treatment of your loved ones in aged care. My family is no different to yours in that respect.”
The packages include an additional 10,000 home care packages and $25.5 million to improve medication management programs to reduce the use of medication as a chemical restraint on aged-care residents and at home.
In Parliament, Labor raised concerns that 16,000 older Australians have died waiting for a home-care package.
“There are 120,000 older Australians waiting for home care, with many waiting more than two years for the care they have been approved for,” Labor’s aged care spokesman Julie Collins said.
“There is absolutely no guarantee Scott Morrison’s miserly package will mean these older Australians receive care sooner.”