COTA welcomes aged care investment
Budget Aged Care Reform Package a sound start to industry transformation
COTA has welcomed the substantial package of measures in this year’s Federal Budget that will begin to overhaul the aged care system over the next five years, supported by additional expenditure of $17.7 billion over four years.
COTA Australia Chief Executive, Ian Yates, welcomed the package as a serious and meaningful response to the Royal Commission, noting the significant investment in accelerating an improved home care system.
“Aged care reform needs proper oversight to get the job done. The new Aged Care Act in particular, along with the oversight mechanisms of an Inspector General, an Independent Pricing Authority, a National Aged Care Advisory Council and the Council of Elders, sets us on exactly the right path. We look forward to working with Government on the implementation of these important measures,” he said.
To read more, go to COTA Australia’s response to the royal commission budget announcements.
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety
The Federal Government has released the Five pillars over 5 years, as part of their response to the royal commission’s 148 recommendations, but there are many details still to be worked through so COTA Victoria is encouraging everyone to continue the conversation for a better aged care system.
Older people are willing and able to participate in continuing to pursue better quality aged care in Australia. This was evident at our COTA in Conversation online event hosted in April, Will Australia’s Aged Care System be Fixed? About 90 people from throughout Victoria and interstate joined a panel of older people to unpack the commission’s recommendations and test the political appetite for the generational change needed. We have included a recording of this event below, or you can go to Will Australia’s Aged Care System be Fixed?. For people with hearing challenges, please turn on the closed captions (CC) on the YouTube platform; you can pause, or fast forward to listen to the speakers of interest to you. There is also information about our call to action and Aged Care Advocacy Took Kit available for you to take further action.
Immediate concerns about aged care
If you have more immediate concerns about any aged care services you or someone you know is receiving, try to resolve the issue directly with the provider. If you’re unhappy with their response, you can make a complaint directly to the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission, which is the regulatory body that investigates complaints. You can lodge a complaint online or in writing, or by phoning 1800 951 822.
It will be up to the Australian Government to implement its response to the Royal Commission. You can help advocate about your specific concerns in relation aspects of their plan by meeting with or sending a letter to your federal Member of Parliament (MP). You can find your Federal MP by using Parliament of Australia search feature on their website or by phoning the Parliament of Australia switchboard on (02) 6277 7111.
We understand that some people may not feel confident or comfortable doing this in person. If you don’t feel comfortable meeting your MP in person, you might like to request that you meet via video or teleconference instead. Not sure where to start? Check out our seven simple steps to arranging a meeting with your MP.
If you’d prefer to write to your MP, you might like to take a look at our sample letter to see what sort of information it is useful to include. Feel free to adapt this letter as you see fit. In general, you should keep your letter to a maximum of 2-pages and cover:
- Who you are
- What the problem is
- How the problem impacts upon you and other people in your electorate
- What needs to be done to fix the problem
- What you want your MP to do to help you fix the problem
If there is a particular issue or recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aged Care that you feel strongly about, you might like to focus on this when meeting with or writing to your MP.
In summary, the aged care advocacy tool kit links are:
- Seven steps to arranging a meeting with your MP
- Sample letter to a Federal MP
- Generic briefing paper for federal MPs
- Tips and sample letter to your local news editor
If you’d like to take a more general approach though, you might be interested to read COTA Australia’s response to the royal commission and understand how they are prioritising their advocacy work. You can also read the Shared Vision for aged care from an alliance of aged care consumer and carer groups, which includes COTA Australia.
While aged care is a federal issue, there are also some things the Victorian Government can do to improve the support that is available to older people. Some of these activities were identified in the Royal Commission’s recommendations.
For now, COTA Victoria is asking for the following issues to be prioritised:
- Improving access to aids, equipment and assistive technology.
- Improving access to state-based health services.
- Improving transfers between hospitals and residential care.
We’ll be adding to this page in the coming weeks to let you know how you can help us advocate for change in Victoria.
Older people share their aged care experiences with COTA Victoria
COTA Victoria has continually collaborated with older Victorians since the Royal Commission was announced to learn more about their aged care experiences.
Pre COVID-19, COTA Victoria travelled around the state, hosting nine information sessions, mostly in partnership with seniors’ groups and councils to listen to people, and encourage them to make a submission.
Let’s ensure we keep the consumers voices prominent in the industry’s transformation. To read consumer’s views go to: What we want in aged care.
To contact COTA Victoria’s policy staff about the Royal Commission please email: firstname.lastname@example.org