COTA Victoria (COTA) is keen to ensure that all older Victorians are able to have their say to the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety through a number of community information sessions.
COTA Victoria CEO Ronda Held said while the royal commission was organising some public consultations, such as the recent event in Bendigo, not everyone will be able to attend and yet anyone was welcome to share their lived experience of Australia’s aged care system.
At this week’s opening of the Royal Commission hearings in Adelaide, Senior Counsel Assisting, Dr Timothy McEvoy QC, said that so far 1,704 public submissions have been received, but this is well short of what the commission expects. He invited people to share their story via the commission’s website, letter or phone.
Ms Held said that COTA was seeking a number of ways to support older people, their carers and family members to share their stories about aged care and in-home care.
The organisation will next week host an information session on writing a submission and several other sessions about the royal commission and sharing your story, mostly organised in collaboration with other organisations, including regional and CALD communities.
“The thought of writing a submission and re-living negative experiences with aged care can be distressing and daunting,” Ms Held said.
“We understand that. Our supportive staff will show people that telling their story need not be complex and that sharing these experiences can in turn81 encourage others in the future, and may also lead to suggestions of how services can be improved. The royal commission wants to hear about both negative and positive experiences of receiving aged care services and we just hope this leads to systemic change.
“We hope this is a once in a generational opportunity to change the culture of the ageing experience in Australia, so we’re supporting this government enquiry but in particular older people in Victoria to take advantage of this opportunity.”
COTA Victoria is hosting a How to Write a Submission group information session next Thursday, 28 March from 10-11:30am in its Melbourne offices. This session is for older people, and their carers, family members and people assisting others to write a submission. For information and registration details go to How to Write a Submission.
Further sessions for the community will be hosted from April-June.
Media enquiries: COTA Vic CEO Ronda Held 0450 785 437