Seniors demand help to stay out of aged care

National Seniors wants institutional care to be a last resort for older Australians (Bigstock)

The Morrison Government is being urged to release more funding to allow older Australians to receive help at home so they can delay any move into aged care facilities as the coronavirus crisis grows. Source: The Age.

The peak group for older Australians, National Seniors, blamed political leaders for ignoring years of warnings about aged care and leaving the sector at greater risk from the pandemic.

As authorities confirmed more deaths at Victorian aged care facilities, a Senate inquiry heard the St Basil's aged care home kept federal agencies in the dark for five days before reporting a COVID-19 outbreak last month.

But the Government refused to name all the 97 aged care homes in Victoria with known coronavirus infections, saying families had been told but there was no need to inform the wider public.

National Seniors chief advocate Ian Henschke said aged care had to be taken “beyond politics” after failures by Labor and Coalition governments to repair the system.

Mr Henschke said now is the time to “find more ways” for people to have adequate home care, leaving “institutional care as a last resort”.

Australia ranks ahead of Switzerland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Sweden in the top five countries with the highest proportion of people in long-term aged care, according to figures from the OECD.

Labor senators Katy Gallagher and Murray Watt criticised the government for being too slow to prepare the aged care facilities for the second wave of the pandemic, saying lessons should have been learned from the outbreaks earlier this year.

FULL STORY

'Fatal consequences': Seniors demand help to stay out of aged care as infections grow (By David Crowe, The Age

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